Back in 2014, a small handful of Germans....observing the migration and asylum crisis....started to ask 'how much will this cost', and the German government more or less....just grinned, and avoided the answer.
By spring of 2017....the government could not really avoid answering the question, and the answer bothered a number of Germans.
So I noticed today that N-TV (commercial German news) picked up the topic and spoke to a government report being provided by the Federal Ministry of Finance....on asylum and integration costs.
The sum over the past year? 20.8 billion Euro.
What did it pay for? This gets into an interesting area.
The bulk of this (around 14-billion Euro) went to projects that would hinder or prevent mass asylum or flight. In other words....they paid 'gifts' to countries to stop smuggler operations or to encourage people to stay in their homeland. Some of it goes to developmental projects, educational reforms and improvements in various third-world countries.
The rest? 6.6-billion Euro? It's a package that goes to German states and is dispersed out to cities and counties to cover refugee, asylum-member, or immigrant programs. It pays for job training, German classes, shelters, failed-visa-folks to return to their homelands, social welfare, medical costs for the new folks, etc. It even pays for childcare or kindergarten costs.
Naturally, a German would look at this, and the anticipated 11-billion Euro a year that Germany will have to find for new EU taxes after BREXIT, the increased infrastructure costs, and the social welfare reform that likely has to come, then the German will ask how they can possibly pay for all of this?
The 20-billion going into this asylum situation? It could have covered the social welfare solution.
In a way, the current government has dug themselves into a pit....that requires a heck of a lot of money, and no real way to achieve the funding gap. Go talk about more taxation, and people just laugh....it won't happen. Go talk about taxing companies more and they hint they might move out of Germany because they can't compete if they raise their costs.