Sep 152015

Do you know what happened to Germany? Why they suddenly open their borders for Syrian refugees? I have no idea.

Fact is, while Austria is touched by its own generosity (which means welcoming refugees, giving them some food and medical care and then happily waving them goodbye when they pass on to Germany), Germany really, really invests big time.

The estimates for this year are for a total of 800.000 refugees. That’s much. Very much, and politically it is a risky proposition for any government. A conservative government like Angela Merkel’s may have it easier, but even she may have a price to pay.

But then, is it all that much?

Don’t get me wrong, I totally admire what Germany does, but let’s just get the figures straight: 800.000 is 1% of the current population of Germany. One hundred people (OK, babies included) have to care for one refugee.

Think of it: there is one person who needs three meals a day. They are cheap meals, let’s say they average 5 Euro each. Once a month you pay one such meal. Does it hurt?

Of course housing is the biggest cost factor. Let’s say that a cheap, government-provided accomodation costs 300 Euros a month. Now we are at 8 Euros a month. Add your percent of minimum clothing and we are at the price of two packs of cigarettes, the equivalent of a pizza or less than one visit of “The Hunger Games 17”.

I still admire what Germany does and it’s the right thing to do. I just want to make clear that this is no titanic task that only mighty Germany can do. Everybody can, and I think Austria can easily do it as well. After all, during the Bosnian crisis we had our 1% of refugees – and we came out of it as a rich country.

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