According to the federal government, there is no evidence that refugees who have already left Ukraine are illegally receiving social benefits in Germany. This emerges from a current report by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which is available to the German Press Agency.
It says: "The federal government is aware of the great importance of combating abuse of benefits and is acting accordingly." The government is continuously reviewing measures to ensure this and adapting them where necessary. "So far, however, there is no evidence of a higher proportion of irregularities in the receipt of subsistence benefits by refugees from Ukraine than in other countries of origin," the ministry states in its report. The data on departures also did not provide any indication of abusive receipt of benefits.
Choice of words heavily criticized by Merz
The chairman of the Union faction, Friedrich Merz, said in an interview with Bild TV: "We are now experiencing social tourism from these refugees: to Germany, back to Ukraine, to Germany, back to Ukraine." The CDU chairman later wrote on Twitter: "If my choice of words is perceived as hurtful, then I apologize in all forms." His reference was "solely to the lack of registration of the refugees".
The Green migration expert Filiz Polat feels confirmed by the Interior Ministry's report. She told the dpa on Wednesday: "The report by the Federal Ministry of the Interior unmasks the statements of the CDU leader for what they are: infamous, irresponsible and dangerous." His attempt to back down is not credible and is reminiscent of AfD campaigns along the lines of: "Raise the alarm, row back - it doesn't matter, something will stick in people's memories."
The head of the district council, Reinhard Sager (CDU), meanwhile warned of an overload caused by the influx of refugees. "When it comes to accommodation, we are faced with an overload of our system," said Sager of "Bild". In his opinion, the wrong incentives are being created by the fact that Ukrainian refugees are receiving better benefits directly from the job centers. "As a result, this leads to more immigration to Germany, including from people who have already found refuge in other countries," he said. Sager advocated "adjusting the rates on January 1 to those of the other refugees".
924,762 people had asked for protection
The Ministry of the Interior states in its report that benefits under the Second Book of Social Law can only be received by those who are in the “close to the time and place” of the responsible job center and who can be reached by post. If this is not the case without the consent of the job center and the benefit recipients are therefore not available for integration measures, there is no entitlement to benefits.
Last Thursday, 997,215 people who had fled Ukraine in connection with the Russian war of aggression were recorded in the central register of foreigners. Of these, 924,762 refugees had submitted a request for protection.