June 22, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Germany: Asylum-seeker-only cards come into force (video)

For asylum seekers in Germany, special credit cards have been introduced for purchases in stores – they will no longer pay in cash, like most local residents.

Payment cards are introduced in accordance with new rules adopted last month by the Bundestag. They are designed to prevent migrants from transferring money to relatives or friends located outside Germany. This money, for example, often pays for the services of smugglers, writes euronews. Jihad Ammuri, one of the asylum seekers, complains:

“I tried to buy something in a store, but they told me that this card is not their partner card. From here you can’t buy anything with it. And it doesn’t work throughout Germany. But for me this is not a problem, because I didn’t come to Germany go shopping”.

Erinda Laka, an asylum seeker, says:

“Half of the money is given in cash, and half is put on the card. With the half on the card, I can buy food, and with the other half, everything I need for me and the children in any store.”

The innovation has been criticized by migrant rights groups, calling it discriminatory. Germany is more cash-oriented than most European countries. Legal policy representative of the NGO Pro Asyl Judit says:

“So the whole discussion about payment cards was started with very clear motives at the conference of state prime ministers. They want to deter people. But it must be made very clear that people are fleeing because of the civil war and from persecution. A payment card will not deter them.” .

And the director of the Refugee Accommodation Center, Thomas Drilling, notes:

“Especially in our rural areas, asylum seekers rely heavily on buses and trains, and there you can only pay in cash. I like to pay in cash myself. We have a lot of different nationalities here and they don't know how to pay by card. It's too modern for them.” .

Germany has been trying to curb migration for months, with this latest measure coming just weeks before elections. EU.

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