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Munich wastes hundreds of thousands on migrant centre

City officials in Munich, Germany, wasted hundreds of thousands of Euros converting a seven-storey office building into a migrant centre, only to discover that not enough migrants wish to live there.

Published: June 15, 2017, 7:21 am

    Munich

    The cost of the “Young Refugee Center” was calculated by the city before the opening in 2016 at about 14 million euro annually.

    The vast complex, called the Young Refugee Center (YRC), currently has only 15 residents, making the cost per resident around €26 000 per month. It was converted after officials anticipated a high number of migrant arrivals, German daily Die Welt reported.

    The centre is able to shelter 180 registered youths, providing everything including medical care. It was refurbished to accomodate “unaccompanied minors”, but many migrants misrepresent their age and travel around Europe and apply in several places as once in order to boost their chances of being granted asylum.

    According to local reports, the Marsstraße council pay €131 000 a month in rent, as well as €271 000 for staffing.

    Officials will scale back funding for the centre “by up to two-thirds” according to a CSU spokesman and are looking into renting out the remaining rooms as offices.

    It is another clear example of how difficult is remains to plan services when cities have no idea of how many people are going to arrive. In 2013 550 unaccompanied minors were stranded in Munich, and by 2015 it was up to 10 300.

    Taxpayers are furious with the council. One pointed out that there are around 7 000 young people in Germany who are currently homeless and suggested the money should be spent on them before migrants.

    Another blasted the costs, saying that Munich was a city with very affordable housing and that is is irresponsible to create “luxury refugee accommodation” when it would be better for migrants to be spread throughout the community where they would be able to integrate better.

    According to the speaker of the Munich Social Council, Frank Boos, everything is being done to find ways to reduce costs. It is possible, he said, to reduce the size of the accomodation. It is however, problematic because it is difficult to assess the number of refugees who will head to Munich in the future.

    At the moment, their numbers are declining, but it could rise again during the summer months.

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