Costs for refugees: “More must come from the federal government”

As of: 03/16/2023 4:04 p.m

The federal government should pay the federal states further aid for the reception and integration of refugees. This is what the Prime Ministers’ Conference calls for. She expects total costs of 16 billion euros this year.

The heads of government of the federal states are demanding more money from the federal government in order to be able to relieve themselves and the municipalities of accommodating refugees. “The worries are getting bigger, not smaller,” said Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil after consultations with his country colleagues. “More has to come from the federal government.”

Immigration is expected to be even higher than before in the coming months. The municipalities are already “in real problems,” according to the SPD politician and current chairman of the Prime Ministers’ Conference. In the absence of alternatives, refugees are again being housed in container buildings or gymnasiums in many places.

“The federal government must take responsibility”

Aid promised by the federal government through federally owned properties has so far had no effect, said the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst. The federal government must “take responsibility” more and create a clear system for financing. There is agreement on this among the countries, according to the CDU politician.

The group of countries remained vague when it came to the question of how much more money is needed. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder had called for federal funds to be doubled in the run-up to the meeting. His colleague from Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Günther (CDU), on the other hand, had suggested that instead of flat rates, the federal government should in future pay the federal states money for each refugee they take in.

Weil suggested that the federal and state governments share the costs in the future. The federal states are currently planning a total of 16 billion euros for this year. In the previous year it was nine billion euros. In addition to around one million refugees from Ukraine, Germany has recently recorded increased immigration from other countries.

Consultations with Federal Chancellor in May

On May 10, the prime ministers will meet again, then with Chancellor Olaf Scholz. They want to reorganize the financing with him. A refugee summit by Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser with the federal states and local authorities left most of those involved disappointed. At the time, the SPD politician pointed out that the federal government had already promised a further 2.75 billion euros in aid for 2023.

For the time being, there is no common position among the federal states on restricting federal admissions programs. That was what Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) called for earlier this week. The CDU-led state government of Saxony-Anhalt is also pushing for the states to have a greater say. According to MPK chief Weil, however, the federal government should intensify its efforts to date in the case of deportations.

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