Fourteen of the sixteen German states will introduce a common payment card for refugees from the summer. In this way, they hope that state aid will not be transferred abroad or end up in the wrong hands.
The card will be distributed to recognized refugees and asylum seekers before the state elections in the east, which will take place in September. The card is being introduced to limit payments with support money as much as possible.
“With the introduction of the payment card, we prevent state aid money from being transferred to the countries of origin. We are also combating smuggling crime,” says Hesse Prime Minister Boris Rhein (CDU). The same sound with his colleague from Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil (SPD). “The financial resources provided under the Asylum Seeker Act are intended to secure livelihoods in Germany. They do not serve to finance families in their home countries.”
The German newspaper Image was already able to read the agreement between the states and already listed what refugees can and cannot buy with the payment card. All types of goods can be purchased with the card. The purchase of alcohol and cigarettes, for example, is perfectly possible. There is a geographical restriction: the card only works in Germany and online purchases abroad are also limited. You cannot transfer money abroad with the card. The states also decided that asylum seekers can only collect a very small amount in cash. Depending on the state, minimum and maximum amounts have been set.
In our country, only recognized refugees who have undergone a procedure can apply for support through the OCMW. “The measures from Germany are currently not in place in our country. Today, the living wage is often insufficient to make ends meet,” said the office of Minister of Social Integration Karine Lalieux (PS).