9:13 pm - Saturday November 7, 2015

Migrant crisis: Germany to release funds to help regions cope

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Germany’s coalition government has agreed to spend 6bn euros (£4.4m) to support record numbers of migrants and other measures to deal with the influx.
Critics at home have accused Chancellor Angela Merkel of creating a dangerous precedent by opening Germany’s borders.
About 18,000 migrants arrived over the weekend after an agreement with Austria and Hungary to relax asylum rules.
But Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann has said the emergency measures must come to an end.
He said they would move step by step “towards normality”, after speaking to Chancellor Merkel and the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Sunday.
Hungary had previously blocked migrants travelling to Western Europe, but dropped restrictions on Friday and shuttled people to the Austrian border.
At Hungary’s border with Serbia construction work continues on the border fence, as people continue to stream across the border, unchallenged by police, the BBC’s James Shaw reports.
Meanwhile migrants are continuing to arrive at Munich station.Germany’s announcement of extra funds came after talks on Sunday night between the two parties which make up Chancellor Merkel’s coalition.
The government has agreed to give €3bn ($3.3bn; £2.2bn) to the federal states and local councils, with a further €3bn to fund federal programmes such as benefit payments.
Specific measures announced include:
A building programme to increase the number of places in reception centres for asylum seekers, suitable for winter months, to 150,000
An extra 3,000 federal police officers
Replacing cash allowances paid to asylum seekers in reception centres with benefits in kind
More money for integration and language courses
Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro will be added to the list of “safe” countries, meaning asylum seekers from those nations can deported more rapidly
The agreement stressed the need for “solidarity” and “a fair distribution” of refugees between EU states.

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