The end for Merkel? Chancellor’s popularity PLUMMETS as Germany faces £36bn migrant bill

The end for Merkel? Chancellor’s popularity PLUMMETS as Germany faces £36bn migrant bill

Anil Dawar — Daily Express Feb 3, 2016

ANGELA Merkel is seeing her popularity PLUMMET as it emerged caring for asylum seekers will cost Germany more than £36billion by the end of 2017.

Housing, food, clothing and integration policies will cost around £16.5bn this year and another £20bn next year, the Cologne Institute for Economic Research said.

The economists made their calculations but warned it could be higher depending on how many more migrants arrive in the coming months.

At least 1.1million immigrants made their way to Germany last year. More than 300,000 of them have since been granted asylum.

Revelations of the staggering welfare bill being laid at the feet of the German taxpayer will heap more pressure on the Chancellor.

Mrs Merkel has seen her popularity ratings plummet since she declared any refugees who made it to her country.

She has refused to set a cap on refugee numbers and has tried to ease voters’ concerns by insisting that most asylum seekers would leave when their homelands stabilised.

In a speech delivered over the weekend she said: “We expect that once peace has returned to Syria, once Islamic State has been defeated in Iraq, that they will return to their countries of origin, armed with the knowledge they acquired with us.”

Mrs Merkel has announced a raft of tough new laws to tighten rules for asylum seekers in Germany in a bid to reduce the influx of refugees.

If they get parliamentary support, the measures will speed up the asylum process and streamline the country’s deportation system for those who have their claims turned down.

Three north African states – Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria – will be put on the list of safe countries meaning their citizens will not be accepted as refugees.

The new bill would also see refugees who have been given “temporary” leave to remain barred from bringing their families to Germany for two years.

The Chancellor’s proposals are part of her bid to win back public support after a recent poll showed that 40 percent of Germans want her leader to resign over her handling of the refugee situation.

The new laws also mirror toughening rules throughout Europe in response to the migrant crisis.

Peter Tauber, general secretary of Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic party said: “This decision helps us to achieve our objective, to reduce the number of refugees and asylum-seekers noticeably.”

The Asylum Package II, as the bill is known, has also eased tensions within the country’s ruling coalition.

Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer, who runs the Christian Social Union, a partner in Mrs Merkel’s government called the announcement of the bill “a good day.”

“Decisions were made that were in part overdue and that will bring us a good ways forward,” he added.

The refugee crisis has rarely been out of the news in Germany since the Chancellor launched her open-door policy last summer.

The resulting flood of refugees and other migrants prompted anger among local politicians tasked with housing and feeding the new arrivals and provoked a wave of violence from far-right groups.

But the mass attacks in Cologne on New Year’s Eve have caused tensions to grow higher.

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