Schaeuble Donates Budget-Hawk Prize Money to Aid Syrian Refugees

  • Minister to receive award for consolidating German finances
  • Prize money to be handed over to German Red Cross for Syrians

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble plans to donate an award for balancing the budget to humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees, a gesture that underscores his backing for Chancellor Angela Merkel on migration policy.

Schaeuble has asked for the 15,000-euro ($17,000) award to be channeled to the German Red Cross to help refugees from Syria’s civil war who have fled to neighboring countries, the Stiftung Marktwirtschaft foundation said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday.

The group, whose name translates as Free-Market Economy Foundation, said it’s honoring Schaeuble for consolidating Germany’s public finances “despite the additional burdens” caused by the arrival of about 1 million refugees last year, the most since World War II. Schaeuble’s unyielding fiscal policy during Europe’s debt crisis has boosted respect for Germany worldwide and given the country “a leading role in economic and financial policy,” according to the foundation, based in Kronberg near Frankfurt.

Schaeuble, Merkel’s most senior cabinet member, has been her key supporter since Europe’s refugee crisis emerged last fall as the biggest threat to her chancellorship. Like Merkel, he’s rebuffed demands by members of her coalition to close Germany’s borders, instead backing her push to get Turkey and Greece to halt migrants at the European Union’s outer frontier and step up aid to Middle Eastern countries hosting Syrian refugees.

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