Germany and the European Commission are in talks to impose a new tax that would help them deal with the increasing costs of the brewing refugee crisis, reports said Saturday, citing a German newspaper. The local newspaper, Süeddeutsche Zeitung, reported that discussions are ongoing to implement a solidarity tax, which would come into effect in the form of a surcharge on gasoline or sales tax, and would directly be accounted for in the European Union’s budget, Deutsche Welle reported, citing the paper.
A portion of the money collected from the surcharge would be given to countries like Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece to help them secure their porous borders, Deutsche Welle reported. A second part of the funds is planned to be sent to those countries that have served as popular destinations among refugees. The last portion would be distributed among home countries of the refugees to encourage citizens to continue living there.
A report by Reuters, citing the local paper, said the size of the levy is still open and depends on costs. It was not immediately clear how much revenue would be generated by the tax.
Over half a million people, fleeing poverty and war in the Middle East and Africa, have sought asylum in Europe this year while Germany is expected to host nearly 800,000 asylum-seekers even as more refugees make their way to Europe. About 12 million people were displaced from Syria alone this year amid the raging civil war.
On Thursday, 19 Eritrean refugees left Italy for Sweden, becoming the first group to be deported under a resettlement plan by the European Union. Under the plan, about 160,000 refugees are expected to be deported from Greece and Italy to other EU countries, as the continent faces its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.