Italy Fears It Will Have To Put 20,000 Refugees On The Streets After Running Out Of Money

Jacob Bojesson | Foreign Correspondent

As many as 20,000 refugees in Italy will likely be put on the streets as the country runs out of money to house them.

Italy’s interior ministry announced Tuesday the shortfall of 60 million euros ($67 million) in its budget to house migrants. Italy currently cares for 160,000 migrants and asylum seekers, and 132,000 have arrived during 2016 alone.

“There have never been such serious delays in payment [to migrant facilities] and beyond the very high risk of no longer being able to provide assistance to asylum seekers, it also poses problems for the staff of these centers,” said Giuseppe Guerini, president of Confcooperative, a federation of  Italian NGOs, according to The Daily Telegraph. “For more than six months, members of staff have not received their salaries. We’re at the point of collapse.”

The interior ministry warned people that putting refugees on the streets “could create problems of public order because of the social tensions that it risks generating.”

Austria is another country where welfare spending on refugees has gone through the roof. A new forecast for 2017 shows a 35 percent increase in social benefits compared to 2014.

Two-thirds of recipients remain on welfare for more than 13 months, and just 9 percent manage to make it into the job market during the same timeframe.

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