Refugee crisis could cost Austria ‘billions’
The Local · 30 Sep 2015, 09:33
Published: 30 Sep 2015 09:33 GMT+02:00
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This is much higher than earlier official calculations, and is based on a projected 25,000 positive asylum applications per year.
The figure includes the costs of primary care for asylum seekers, integration, social security, and helping recognised asylum seekers access the labour market. The document estimates that if the cost of family reunification is included this would almost double the figure to €12.3 billion.
In comparison, the 2015 budget for the defence ministry amounts to around €1.8 billion, which corresponds to 0.55 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
In September, almost 200,000 refugees arrived in Austria, and 8,000 of those have applied for asylum. The interior ministry has said it expects a total of 80,000 asylum seekers this year.
The conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) has argued in favour of granting refugees “limited asylum” and restricting family reunification - where family members of a recognised refugee are given permission to join him or her in Austria.