BERLIN: Germany wants every European Union state to contribute to a 3 billion euro ($3.2 billion) aid kitty for Syrian refugees in Turkey, saying it is a question of “European solidarity”.
“All member states should contribute to the financing totalling three billion euros,” Finance Ministry State Secretary Jens Spahn told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung in comments confirmed by the government.
“It is also a question of European solidarity,” said Spahn.
The sum was pledged to Turkey following a summit on Sunday, but details on the bill for individual EU states have yet to emerge.
Spahn said the question would be broached at a EU finance ministers’ meeting next week.
Turkey says it has taken in a total of 2.2 million refugees from Syria’s four-year civil war and still maintains an “open door policy” while warning its capacity to take more is limited.
The EU initiative is not completely altruistic, as the bloc expects Turkey’s help in discouraging the flow of refugees westward.
Some 850,000 people have entered the EU this year and more than 3,500 have died or gone missing in what has become Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
The record influx has divided the EU, with newer eastern member states like Hungary taking a hardline stance and sealing its borders with razor-wire fences to keep migrants out.
Northern countries like Germany have instead opened their doors to those fleeing war, although they too have said they would not be able to cope if the rest of the EU failed to help with the unprecedented number of new arrivals.