Estimates of refugee costs rise to 21.1 bn euros: Ifo

Munich, Nov 11 (IANS) The Ifo institute reported on Tuesday that it has upgraded its estimates of German government expenditure on refugees to 21.1 billion euros ($22.58 billion), based on the assumption that 1.1 million people will flee to Germany by the end of the year.

“That figure includes accommodation, food, creches, schools, German courses, training and administration,” said Gabriel Felbermayr, analyst with Ifo.

The Munich-based think tank previously estimated the costs at 10 billion euros for the first 12 months, just to cover accommodation and food for 800,000 people, reported Xinhua.

“The keys to costs and integration are qualifications and the labour market,” Felbermayr noted, adding that many refugees are poorly educated.

According to Ifo, refugees should work immediately and attend German language courses at the same time.

In addition, Ifo also called for a complete abolition of the minimum wage in Germany, not only for refugees, but for all young employees without qualifications, because many companies see the minimum wage as a major constraint.

Ifo is one of Europe’s leading research institutes. Its business climate index is considered among the most important barometers for German economy.

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