Germany Allocates 6 Billion Euros to Deal With Migrant Influx

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has set aside 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) to deal with a record influx of migrants and refugees into Germany.

German news site DW reports that Merkel's coalition government has earmarked 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in the 2016 budget to assist people arriving in Germany from war-torn countries such as Syria. A further 3 billion euros will be distributed among Germany's federal states and local governments.

Germany also wants to expedite asylum applications to process refugees more rapidly and provide accommodation and benefits to new arrivals, according to the BBC. Some 18,000 refugees arrived in Germany over the weekend, and the country expects to receive around 800,000 asylum applications by the end of 2015.

Merkel came under fire over the weekend from members of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the coalition partners to her Christian Democrats (CDU), for opening up Germany's borders to a group of migrants stranded in Hungary on Friday. Hundreds of refugees began walking the 150-mile journey from Budapest to Vienna on Friday after being refused entry onto Hungarian trains heading for Germany and Austria.

Elsewhere, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said the country was aiming to phase out emergency measures which gave refugees free access from Hungary to Western Europe. The BBC reported that Faymann said that Austria has helped more than 12,000 people and that "now we have to move step-by-step away from emergency measures towards normality." The statement came after a meeting between Faymann, Merkel and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to discuss the migration crisis on Sunday.

Europe is struggling to deal with the arrival of large numbers of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, many of whom are fleeing conflict in their home countries such as Syria.