After a lengthy struggle, the leaders of the various German states have wrested €7 billion ($7.73 billion) in integration funding from the federal government to deal with the massive influx of over 1 million refugees over the past year.
But the controversy over the cost-sharing of the country’s refugee policy is far from over.
As soon as the agreement between the states and the federal government was finalized, the local authorities began voicing their demands that the money not stay in the “sticky fingers” of the states. Cities like Duisburg, where refugee-related costs more than doubled from €33 million in 2015 to €77 million this year, are in urgent need of more funds.
“The cities expect further support from the states, for example for the expansion of childcare and construction of housing, as well as special funds for the construction and outfitting of classrooms,” said Eva Lohse, president of the Association of German Cities and mayor of Ludwigshafen in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.