After a meeting with the interior ministers of the federal states and representatives of the municipal umbrella organizations, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said: “We agreed this morning that we will now increasingly use the Königstein key to distribute those refugees to the federal states who are not housed privately with families or with acquaintances and be taken care of.”
Change of course in the Federal Ministry of the Interior
The Königstein key is based on the tax revenue and the population of the federal states. Faeser said last Wednesday after a special session of the Bundestag’s Interior Committee that this was initially not necessary. However, some state governments see things differently.
States are asking for help
Further talks have been agreed for the coming days with the German Association of Cities, the District Association and the Association of Towns and Municipalities in order to coordinate the reception and care of the refugees as best as possible, said Faeser. It is important to her that the refugees quickly receive social benefits, medical care and access to the job market, emphasized the minister. She is in close contact with Labor Minister Hubertus Heil.
The representation of the federal states – the Bundesrat – demanded in a resolution from the federal government further administrative and financial help in coping with the influx of refugees. This also included other central contact and registration points managed by the federal government. In addition, the federal government should already be planning relocation programs together with the other EU states in order to contribute to relieving the burden on the eastern EU members and thus to ensure the future orderly entry of people seeking protection.
Berlin opens exhibition halls
The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Franziska Giffey, now sees her state on the verge of being overwhelmed. The previous night, the Berlin exhibition center was opened to accommodate the refugees, she said. This means that there is “for the first time a large-scale indoor situation” for those affected. This shows “that we are reaching the limits of our capacity”.
According to the Federal Police, almost 110,000 war refugees have come to Germany since the Russian attack on Ukraine began. According to the UN, more than 2.5 million people from Ukraine have sought refuge abroad since February 24. Most initially stayed in neighboring countries.
nob/fab (dpa, afp)