Merkel: No need for new taxes to pay for caring for migrants

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany will not have to raise taxes to help pay for the hundreds of thousands of refugees and other migrants who have been flooding into the country, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview released Sunday, and the government should have new regulations in place by November to help deal with the influx.

Germany expects at least 800,000 newcomers this year if not more, but Merkel told top-selling Bild newspaper in a preview of an interview to be printed in Monday's edition that there would "definitely" be no tax increases to help care for them.

"We can be pleased that we have been well managed for years and that our economic situation is currently good," she said.

Merkel, who has seen her popularity dip slightly amid concerns over the drastic increase in asylum seekers, also sought to allay fears that the numbers could overwhelm the country's health care system.

Nobody should "worry that a refugee will take away from their own quality of care."

For more on the migrant crisis in Germany, scroll through the gallery below:

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Merkel: No need for new taxes to pay for caring for migrants
SCHOENEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: A policeman touches the window playing with a child while migrants take a bus after arriving on an ICE high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn from Munich near Berlin on September 13, 2015 in Schoenefeld, Germany. In an effort to deal with a weekend influx of over 13,000 migrants in Munich Deutsche Bahn for the first time reserved an ICE train solely for the migrants and asked regular passenger to switch to other trains. Germany is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the last few weeks, most of them via the so-called Balkan route through Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Migrants arriving at Schoenefeld are transferred with buses to shelters in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
Migrants and refugees arrive at a tent village at the Donnersberg bridge close to the central train station in Munich, Germany, Sunday Sept. 13, 2015 .Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and others are still making their way slowly across Europe, seeking shelter where they can, taking a bus or a train where one is available, walking where it isn't. (Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP)
Refugees are seen after arriving at the main railway station in Dortmund, western Germany, on September 13, 2015. Germany may take in one million refugees this year, up from the record 800,000 arrivals predicted so far, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on September 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DPA / MAJA HITIJ +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read MAJA HITIJ/AFP/Getty Images)
Refugee children wave as they sit in a special train heading to western German town of Dortmund at the main train station in Munich, southern Germany, on September 13, 2015. Thousands of refugees arrived in Germany during the weekend, coming from Hungary and Austria. AFP PHOTO / DPA / SVEN HOPPE +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read SVEN HOPPE/AFP/Getty Images)
Refugees walk down the stairs after arriving at the main railway station in Dortmund, western Germany, on September 13, 2015. Germany may take in one million refugees this year, up from the record 800,000 arrivals predicted so far, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on September 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DPA / MAJA HITIJ +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read MAJA HITIJ/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants arrive from Munich at Schoenefeld train station near Berlin, Sunday Sept. 13, 2015. ( Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)
Boys play with a ball at a tent village for migrants and refugees at the Donnersberg bridge close to the central train station in Munich, Germany, Sunday Sept. 13, 2015. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and others are still making their way slowly across Europe, seeking shelter where they can, taking a bus or a train where one is available, walking where it isn't. (Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP)
Migrants wait for a special train for Berlin in the hall of the main train station in Munich, southern Germany, on September 13, 2015. Thousands of refugees arrived in Germany during the weekend, coming from Hungary and Austria. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Refugees walk to a train bound for Dortmund at the main railway station on September 13, 2015 in Munich, Germany. Hundreds of refugees, mainly from Syria and Iraq, arrive in Germany after Hungary has opened his borders for them to travel for Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SCHOENEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Migrants leave the trainstation after arriving on an ICE high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn from Munich near Berlin on September 13, 2015 in Schoenefeld, Germany. In an effort to deal with a weekend influx of over 13,000 migrants in Munich Deutsche Bahn for the first time reserved an ICE train solely for the migrants and asked regular passenger to switch to other trains. Germany is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the last few weeks, most of them via the so-called Balkan route through Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Migrants arriving at Schoenefeld are transferred with buses to shelters in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
SCHOENEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Migrants takes a bus after arriving on an ICE high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn from Munich near Berlin on September 13, 2015 in Schoenefeld, Germany. In an effort to deal with a weekend influx of over 13,000 migrants in Munich Deutsche Bahn for the first time reserved an ICE train solely for the migrants and asked regular passenger to switch to other trains. Germany is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the last few weeks, most of them via the so-called Balkan route through Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Migrants arriving at Schoenefeld are transferred with buses to shelters in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
SCHOENEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Migrants takes a bus after arriving on an ICE high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn from Munich near Berlin on September 13, 2015 in Schoenefeld, Germany. In an effort to deal with a weekend influx of over 13,000 migrants in Munich Deutsche Bahn for the first time reserved an ICE train solely for the migrants and asked regular passenger to switch to other trains. Germany is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the last few weeks, most of them via the so-called Balkan route through Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Migrants arriving at Schoenefeld are transferred with buses to shelters in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
SCHOENEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: A girl waves holding balloons through the window as migrants take a bus after arriving on an ICE high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn from Munich near Berlin on September 13, 2015 in Schoenefeld, Germany. In an effort to deal with a weekend influx of over 13,000 migrants in Munich Deutsche Bahn for the first time reserved an ICE train solely for the migrants and asked regular passenger to switch to other trains. Germany is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the last few weeks, most of them via the so-called Balkan route through Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Migrants arriving at Schoenefeld are transferred with buses to shelters in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Migrants arrive by train at Munich Hauptbahnhof railway station on September 13, 2015 in Munich, Germany. German authorities are expecting 10,000 migrants to arrive on trains today, mostly from Hungary via Austria, on top of the approximately 20,000 that have arrived in the last 48 hours. Germany is distributing the migrants across the country and is struggling to register and house them. Many of the migrants are coming from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and are reaching western Europe via the Balkans. (Photo by Philipp Guelland/Getty Images)
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In a separate interview, Germany's new government coordinator for refugees and other migrants said the country can cope with the flood of newcomers, but must streamline its systems for dealing with them.

Peter Altmaier, Merkel's chief of staff who was this month put in charge of the government response to the influx of newcomers, told Bild that Germany "won't turn its back" on anyone in need and must reduce bureaucracy and speed up the asylum process. He added that Germany also needs to quickly send home those not truly needing asylum.

Germany has said that refugees fleeing Syria's civil war or other conflicts can almost be guaranteed to be given asylum but others seeking to better their economic situation, primarily from the Balkans, will almost certainly be sent home.

Merkel said that in addition to focusing on the rapid removal of migrants who will not be allowed to stay, new regulations will also seek to address other issues like the fact that Germany provides asylum-seekers more spending money than most in the European Union — a "disincentive" for them to seek asylum elsewhere. Instead, she said, Germany might focus on providing newcomers with benefits "in kind" rather than in cash.

Meantime, Bavarian Governor Horst Seehofer, who heads the Bavarian-only CSU party in Merkel's conservative bloc, defended his criticism of the chancellor's migrant policy, telling Die Welt newspaper it "has nothing to do with racism and xenophobia."

Bavaria has been the entry point for most of the people entering Germany seeking asylum, and Seehofer said "the current influx has overwhelmed us."

"It's just too much," he said.

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