Municipalities call for refugee summits: fire letter to Scholz

Dhe German District Council and the Association of Towns and Municipalities have federal chancellors Olaf Scholz (SPD) to hold a refugee summit in view of the rapidly increasing number of asylum seekers. The municipalities are faced with a situation "which is already comparable to that of the years from 2015", according to a letter from the two central municipal associations. Numerous municipalities have already reached the limits of their regular intake capacities.

A meeting of the municipalities with Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) scheduled for October. But that's not enough for the two associations.

The background to the letter is the increasing number of refugees from Ukraine and asylum seekers. The Ministry of the Interior puts the number of registered Ukraine refugees alone at more than 993,000 (as of the end of August), and that of asylum seekers at more than 130,000. The president of the district council, Reinhard Sager, spoke in the FAZ podcast for Germany of a dramatic situation. Feedback from the counties indicated that, similar to 2015 and 2016, the situation was getting out of control. The federal, state and local governments did not work together to look after and finance the wave of refugees. "That hasn't happened yet," Sager said.

"Pull factors" despite the tense situation

Some countries have already temporarily said goodbye to the initial reception of Ukraine refugees. the refugees from the Ukraine are not subject to the asylum procedure, but can claim basic security upon their arrival. In their letter, the managing directors of the district association and the association of cities, Hans-Günter Henneke and Gerd Landsberg, criticize the fact that the federal government is creating additional “pull factors” despite the tense situation.

These include the increase in the standard rate of citizen income and changes in the right of residence, which are actually intended to recruit skilled workers. This also makes it attractive for third-country nationals who have no prospect of being granted protection to come to Germany. In addition, the federal government must stop the "uncontrolled current development of the transit of visa-free refugees" from Serbia who reach Germany via Austria and the Czech Republic. The German Association of Cities, the third municipal umbrella organization, did not want to participate in the letter.

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