Before the refugee summit: Union insists on financial commitments from the federal government


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Status: 05/08/2023 7:53 p.m

The federal states want more money from the federal government for the accommodation of refugees – it balks. Now the Union is tightening the tone – Bavaria’s interior minister is fundamentally questioning the meaning of the consultations.

The fronts are hardened before the refugee summit next Wednesday. The federal government is sticking to its position of not making any further funds available to the federal states for the care of refugees. Then the whole meeting has no point, the Union complains.

The fact that the federal government made it clear before the exchange that it did not want to give any more euros was “not an appropriate answer”, criticized North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst. There is reason enough for the meeting, “but if we don’t agree on that, a very important task that we have set ourselves will not be fulfilled,” warned the CDU politician.

Bavaria’s Minister of the Interior, Joachim Herrmann, made a similar statement. The federal government must move away from its refusal to provide the states and municipalities with more money, the CSU politician told the TV station “Welt”. “If the federal government really doesn’t move, it would make the summit really pointless.”

Regarding the possible consequences of a failure at the summit, Herrmann said: “I’m afraid that the tensions here will grow massively and that some municipalities could simply refuse further constructive cooperation if the federal government is really so stubborn.” However, he did not want to cancel the meeting. However, he expects a long struggle in the Chancellery on Wednesday.

Reports on understanding between the countries

The tone between the federal and state governments had already intensified beforehand. It was all about money, too. According to media reports, there is a paper from the state finance ministers in which they support their demand for more money from the federal government. The news agency Reuters and the newspapers of the Funke media group report this in unison.

In it, the federal states turn against the argument of the federal government that the federal budget has to shoulder deficits in the billions, while the federal states and municipalities have surpluses. According to the paper, this is only “a temporary phenomenon” caused by the double crisis of the pandemic and the Russian war of aggression.

Accusation of wrong calculations

According to the reports, the federal states also accuse the Chancellery of incorrect calculations in the internal paper: The monthly per capita flat rate for asylum seekers of 670 euros, which will apply until the end of 2021, is now significantly too low. Based on the latest data, around 1000 euros should be set, they demand.

In fact, the federal government has even reduced its aid in recent years despite the increasing number of refugees, the paper continues. According to the reports, it was sent to the other 15 countries on Sunday evening by the Lower Saxony presidency of the Prime Ministers’ Conference (MPK).

Before the refugee summit, the heads of government of the federal states are again demanding more support from the federal government.

Because: costs refugee figures orientate

Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) spoke out in favor of a fair distribution. “There is agreement that the federal government must return to a breathing system of refugee financing,” he said after a meeting between the heads of the federal states and the heads of the municipal associations.

“The financial resources of the federal government must be based on the actual number of people who have fled to us; one-off lump sum payments are not enough.” States and local authorities stand “side by side” on this point. The municipalities also urged the federal government to assume the full costs of accommodating refugees again.

A draft resolution for the refugee summit states that the countries will not receive any more money for refugees.

The federal states and municipalities are demanding more money from the federal government for the accommodation of refugees. Right?

contradictory Signals from traffic lights

Green leader Ricarda Lang had on Sunday called for the local authorities to be given more help in caring for refugees. Faster asylum procedures are also needed, but the main problem is the lack of money, she said Report from Berlin. There is a common interest in good solutions being able to be found locally, emphasized Lang.

However, the coalition partner FDP has now rejected the demands of the federal states and the Greens. “Money doesn’t solve a single problem in this situation,” said General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai. “What we need are political solutions.” The meeting on Wednesday must usher in a “watershed in migration policy”.

The population would like more management and control when migrants move in, explained Djir-Sarai. “People in our country want to know who is coming to us,” he said. Like Greens leader Lang, he called for the asylum procedure to be “significantly accelerated,” but he also made it clear that the FDP considered “immigration of workers, but not immigration into the social security systems” to be necessary. It has to be based on countries like the USA, Canada or New Zealand, which “say exactly what form of migration they want or don’t want.”

The federal government does not want a system of per capita flat rates

The covenant is so far neither willing to increase his payments, nor is he interested in a return to the per capita system. Instead, a draft from the Chancellery for a draft resolution for the meeting calculates how much the federal government is already contributing to refugee-related expenditure.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz will hold a special conference with the heads of government of the federal states to discuss the division of tasks and burdens in caring for refugees.

In the report from Berlin, party leader Lang called for further help from the federal government – and thus sided with the states.

Number of refugees recently increased

The number of refugees arriving in Germany had recently increased significantly. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in February 2022, more than a million people have been registered from Ukraine.

Last year, after a decline in the Corona years, there was an increase in applications in the regular asylum system. Almost 218,000 initial applications were made, 47 percent more than in 2021.

The main countries of origin are still Syria and Afghanistan. In the first few months of this year, the number of asylum applications continued to rise.

In some communities, accommodation and integration work, others call for help.

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