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Pressures from municipalities. After criticism, Kretschmann announces a refugee summit

municipal pressure
After criticism, Kretschmann announces a refugee summit

Winfried Kretschmann (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, at the podium. photo:

© Christian Johner/dpa

The alarm of the municipalities is that the district administration warns that there is a danger of an “oppressive trap”. Not only when it comes to accepting refugees, nothing will be possible soon. The country should take countermeasures.

After massive pressure from the municipalities, Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann announced the refugee summit in Baden-Württemberg. The Greens politician said at a district meeting in Fellbach (Rams-Moor-Kreis) on Monday. Then he will invite to a “summit” with the municipalities. The chairman of the district council, Joachim Walter, warned earlier that the flow of refugees should be slowed down. Because recording opportunities are almost exhausted, and acceptance among the population is noticeably decreasing.

Walter sees false social incentives for Ukrainians who have already found safe accommodation in other EU countries such as Poland or Spain. “This uncontrolled secondary migration really has to be stopped,” the Tübingen district administrator told an audience of about 300 in Fellbach. The federal government should reverse the so-called legal amendment for Ukrainian refugees. Walter called on the state to act on the initiative of the relevant Federal Council.

Since June 1, Ukrainians have received Hartz IV and, thanks to the change in legal status, they can also rent their own apartment and work. It has a strong appeal, explained the association’s president. The KDM politician warned that other asylum seekers should be prevented from using these social services. Walter also called on the state to take over all the costs of municipalities to receive and care for refugees.

Kretschmann said that Baden-Württemberg did not campaign for a change in the legal regime. But demanding that it be canceled in the federal council is hopeless. “You have to accept that.” The head of government complained that the federal government has not yet fulfilled its promise from March to contribute to the costs of hosting Ukrainian refugees.

Baden-Württemberg has already taken in one and a half times as many refugees as it did during the 2015 migration crisis. According to the Migration Ministry, more than 134,000 refugees from Ukraine have been registered in Baden-Württemberg to date. In addition, there are more than 19,000 asylum seekers who will remain in the country and another 2,800 refugees from humanitarian reception programs. That’s about 156,000 people in total. In 2015, around 101,000 asylum seekers were registered in the South West.

Kretschmann criticized that the federal government has doubts about the current numbers of the country. “It’s always the same scam messing with these numbers,” Kretschmann criticized. He hopes that the conference of prime ministers will also agree on this issue with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).

Walter said municipalities are stuck in an “overwhelming trap.” Federal and state governments are constantly burdening cities, municipalities and counties with new tasks, legal rights and standards without providing sufficient funding. There is an urgent need for a debate in the country about what is priority and what is secondary. “Not everything that is desired can be achieved.”

The head of the association called Kretschman to speak and decide at the highest level about the reduction of bureaucracy and dismantling of standards. However, the ministries should not participate in the first step, because such proposals would only speak in pieces. “If you want to drain the swamp, don’t ask the frogs.” Walter suggested creating a task force from the ministries of state, finance and interior, along with municipalities.

As an example, Walter cited the legal right to 24-hour care in elementary schools from 2026. Everyone knew that “it is impossible”. And yet the federal and state governments decided to do it “because symbolic politics is now more important than digging thick planks”.

It is also unacceptable that the regions should intervene in the financing of the country’s “guaranteed” hospitals. Regions must now allocate 50 million euros for the purchase of medical devices. The country should also consider whether it is necessary to “move away from the legally anchored guarantee of mobility”. The guarantee is expected to significantly expand local public transport in rural areas.

Kretschmann was open in principle to such a debate on cutting red tape, but cautioned against expecting quick success. “If you want to start lowering standards, you have to say where.” And at that time, the ministries should have been involved immediately. “Of course, the first address of such announcements is the specialized departments. The problem is that many issues are related to the federal government or even the European level. He promised to focus on cutting red tape once the crisis is over. But Kretschmann also said it’s not like “district offices are immune to official mold.”

dpa:

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