Asylum: Ramelow expects agreement on payment card

Ramelow expects agreement on payment cards

Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke) is hoping that the nationwide regulation on payment cards for asylum seekers will soon be implemented. photo

© Martin Schutt/dpa

Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow continues to push for a nationwide regulation on payment cards for asylum seekers. He also wants something different for refugees.

Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow is betting that the nationwide regulation on payment cards for asylum seekers will soon be implemented. Thuringia stands by this decision of the Prime Minister’s Conference, Ramelow told the German Press Agency in Erfurt. “The payment card is an instrument for simplifying administration.”

The Greens in the traffic light coalition had reported a need for discussion on some regulations. It is therefore currently unclear when a nationwide regulation will be decided in the Bundestag.

Ramelow criticized the actions of the CDU and CSU. “The Union has now stylized the payment card into an instrument with which supposedly existing incentives for migration could be reduced. This is empirically baseless and is incorrect in the matter,” said Ramelow.

The Thuringian state government represents “the expectation of a non-discriminatory design of the payment card” – in the sense that the federal states that are taking part in the nationwide tender have agreed on.

Ramelow: Everyone is entitled to a checking account

Thuringia’s Prime Minister said he also believes that every person in Germany is entitled to their own checking account – including refugees. “Everyone should be able to decide how to handle their money.”

Because a nationwide regulation for a payment card is still a long time coming, the number of municipalities in Thuringia that are going their own way on this issue is increasing. Several districts have already made regional regulations, including Eichsfeld and the Greiz district. Others want to start in April. The state capital Erfurt also recently declared that it no longer wanted to wait for a nationwide regulation.

Thuringia’s migration commissioner Mirjam Kruppa rejected claims from individual local politicians that regional payment card regulations are causing a migration of asylum seekers within Thuringia. “All those who receive a payment card in the Thuringian districts are asylum seekers or tolerated people with a residence requirement,” says Kruppa. This means that the people affected only receive benefits in the district in which they are obliged to live.

The agreement between the federal states stipulates that part of the state benefits for asylum seekers will in future be provided as credit on a payment card. The card is intended to prevent asylum seekers from transferring money to smugglers or to their family or friends abroad. At the beginning of March, the federal government approved a draft law.


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