BERLIN - Germany can cope with a record-breaking influx of refugees and migrants this year without raising taxes and without jeopardizing its goal of a balanced budget, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday.
With relatively liberal asylum laws and generous benefits, Germany is the EU's biggest recipient of people fleeing war in the Middle East and economic migrants from southeastern Europe.
A record 104,460 asylum seekers entered Europe's biggest economy in August, and the country expects about 800,000 refugees and migrants this year - four times last year's level.
In light of the influx, the government plans to introduce a supplementary budget to free up funds for the refugees and to help towns in the frontline which are already struggling to pay for accommodation and fund medical care for the new arrivals.
"We won't raise taxes. And we still have the goal of posting a balanced budget without taking on new debt," Merkel told several local newspapers in an interview.