Restoring full passport and security checks between European Union (EU) nations would be more cost effective than allowing the migrant crisis to continue indefinitely, a German economic institute has said.
The Munich-based Ifo institute said the reinstating border controls could reduce the EU’s economic output by 0.19 to 0.47 per cent each year, equivalent to €26.65 to €65.8 billion.
However, Gabriel Felbermayr, head of Ifo, said that these costs would be “just a small part of the amount that would be caused by uncontrolled mass immigration.”
Researchers looked at trade data before and after the introduction of the 1995 Schengen agreement which effectively abolished border controls between signatory nations.
They found that transportation costs would rise by an average of seven per cent if borders were closed again, but as these costs only make up about 10 per cent of product value, the overall effect would be relatively minor.
One of the countries that has been worst affected by the ongoing migrant crisis is Sweden, which will likely need to spend around 600 billion kroner to fund last year’s immigration levels.
Stockholm University Associate Professor Jan Tullberg factored in the costs of extra policing and higher benefits along with the immediate costs of receiving so many migrants, and found that the Swedish state will have to spend some 580 billion kroner (£48.3 billion) on these new Swedes from now until the time they either leave the country or die.
Such is the cost of the migrant crisis across Europe that Denmark has even passed legislation allowing border officials to take valuables from newly arrived migrants to help pay for their upkeep while they are in the country.
The idea drew the scorn of the foreign press, with the Washington Post even likening it to the Holocaust.
Danish Integration Minister Inger Stoejberg took to Facebook to defend the policy, writing:
“I can see that some foreign media are pouring scorn over (the fact) that we in the future may withdraw asylum seekers’ valuables and demand that they should pay for their stay in asylum centres themselves.
“There is no reason to criticise, since it is already the case that if you as a Dane have valuables for more than 10,000 kroner ($1,450, 1,340 euros) it may be required that this is sold before you can receive unemployment benefits.”