Local state governments across Germany are calling on the federal government to boost funding for resources and accommodation for increasing numbers of refugees. But the interior minister announced at the refugee summit that the country will stick to its budget.
At Berlin's refugee summit on Thursday (February 16), German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser offered more federal properties to accommodate refugees and outlined a new working structure for cooperation between federal and state governments, with a plan to meet again in spring.
Faeser, however, did not deliver any promises of further financial support for Germany's states, saying the government would stick with the €2.75 billion euros ($2.93 billion) it had already pledged this year.
In response, Peter Beuth, the interior minister of the central German state of Hesse, said after the summit that "(t)he mood in this country…is threatening to tip," Reuters reported.
Reinhard Sager, the head of the German Association of Counties (DLT), called the summit a disappointment and criticized Chancellor Olaf Scholz's absence.
"We urgently need relief now," he said.
German states claim accommodation shortages
Citing an increasing number of refugees, local governments say accommodation and resources are being pushed to their limit, despite having no say in distribution or migration policy. They urge the federal government to offer stronger support, bolster border controls and speed up deportations.
According to the latest data from the federal statistics office, net migration from Ukraine in 2022 alone stood at 962,000 – a figure much higher than that from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq combined between 2014 and 2016, which stands at 834,000.
With Reuters, dpa