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A struggle within the German coalition regarding payment cards for asylum seekers

A struggle within the German coalition regarding payment cards for asylum seekers

A payment card for asylum seekers is causing a stir in Germany's “Traffic Light Alliance”. At the heart of the matter is the question of whether federal regulation is necessary or at least beneficial to card introduction.

Representatives of the FDP and SPD as well as the head of the Prime Minister's conference, Boris Rehn of Hesse, spoke in favor at the weekend. Meanwhile, the Green Party in the Bundestag considers the current legal options sufficient.

Kopecky threatens to break the alliance

Deputy Chairman of the FDP parliamentary group, Wolfgang Kubicki, threatened to break up the coalition. “If the Green Party actually torpedoes this simple intervention in the asylum seeker benefits law, it will call into question the continuation of the coalition,” he told Bild newspaper.

At the end of January, 14 of the 16 federal states agreed to a joint procurement process to provide a payment card for asylum seekers, which should be completed by the summer. Among other things, the card aims to prevent refugees from transferring money to smugglers or to their families or friends abroad.

Deputy leader of the Green Party parliamentary group, Andreas Audretsch, said: “The common position in the coalition was that the states could introduce the payment card in a legally secure way. Various countries such as Hamburg and Bavaria are already doing this. Therefore the changes are not necessary and have not been agreed.” “We are not ready for the chaos, distracting discussions and mismanagement of the Chancellery.”