Shanty houses are seen under a bridge in Paris. (AFP/Miguel Medina)
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The four-story building being transformed by borough Mayor Torsten Sevecke sits on a leafy plot abutting a luxury development where apartments cost as much as $9 million.About 345,000 people applied for asylum in European Union nations in the first nine months of 2014, 23 percent more than a year earlier and the most since 2001 .Berlin's government will have spent 130 million euros to house refugees in 2014, after budgeting 40 million euros. About 43 million euros will be spent on new "container villages" in six districts around the city.The Swedish Migration Board, which has used cottages at campgrounds and disused health-care facilities amid a shortage of rental apartments, forecasts it will pay 1.5 billion kronor ($197 million) to private providers of accommodation this year, almost triple the 546,000 kronor spent in 2013 .The structures in the new villages have 15 square meters of living space.At least in Germany and Sweden, most people get roofs, walls and running water.
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