Search For Keyword.

German parliament approves payment cards for asylum-seekers to limit cash payments

BERLIN (AP) — The German parliament on Friday approved legislation introducing payment cards for asylum-seekers, a system that is meant to limit benefits paid in cash and make the country less attractive for migrants.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Germany's 16 state governors agreed in principle to introduce the system in early November, but the governing coalition took until last week to iron out differences on whether specific legislation was needed and on its details. The resulting bill was approved by a large majority in parliament's lower house, or Bundestag.

It calls for asylum-seekers to receive their benefits on a card that can be used for payments in local shops and services. They will only be able to withdraw limited amounts of cash and will not be able to transfer money outside Germany. The aim is to prevent migrants sending money to family and friends abroad, or to smugglers.

The legislation gives local authorities latitude to decide on exemptions and on how much cash asylum-seekers can withdraw.

Attitudes toward migration have hardened in Germany as large numbers of asylum-seekers have arrived, in addition to refugees from Ukraine, and local authorities have struggled to find accommodation.

The number of people applying for asylum in Germany last year rose to more than 350,000, an increase of just over 50% compared with the year before. The largest number of asylum-seekers came from Syria, followed by Turkish and Afghan citizens.

(24)    (25)
Total Comments (0)

Comments About This Article

Please fill the fields below.
*code confirming note