Before the planned refugee summit on Wednesday, the fronts between the federal states and municipalities on the one hand and the federal government on the other remain hardened. The position of the federal government is now also viewed critically in its own traffic light coalition: the federal chairwoman of the Greens, Ricarda Lang, demanded more money from the federal government for the accommodation of refugees.
On Monday, the state governments agreed on their joint demands with representatives of the central municipal associations. "Results must be achieved on Wednesday," said the President of the German District Association, Reinhard Sager, of the German Press Agency. He thinks it's "wrong" that the municipal umbrella organizations weren't invited to the meeting in Berlin. Nevertheless, he has no doubt that the federal states will do their best to represent the interests of the municipalities".
The chairman of the Prime Ministers' Conference (MPK), Lower Saxony's head of government, Stephan Weil, emphasized that the states and municipalities stand side by side. "The financial resources of the federal government must be based on the actual number of people who have fled to us, with one-off lump sum payments it is not enough," said the SPD politician. The municipalities also demanded that the federal government bear 100 percent of the costs of accommodation again.
North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst accused the federal government, as co-chair of the MPK, of largely ignoring the situation on site. "The calls for help from cities and communities are dismissed from Berlin," said the CDU politician.
Lang: "Municipalities have achieved incredible things"
"We have seen that the municipalities have really achieved incredible things in the last year, especially with the people who came from Ukraine, who were quickly brought into educational institutions and work," said Green party leader Lang on Sunday evening on ARD. "Report from Berlin". At the same time, however, she also sees that there are major problems and that there are strains in certain areas. Above all, the "lack of money" is a problem. The demand for more financial support had so far been rejected by the federal government.
The cost of accommodation and care for those seeking protection is a bone of contention between the federal and state governments. The fact that the federal government is providing insufficient financial support to the states is clear from a paper by the state finance ministers, which, according to information from the German Press Agency, was mutually agreed on Sunday evening. In it, the federal states complain about cuts in the assumption of costs by the federal government and, as a result, completely inadequate financial resources in view of the growing burdens.
The state finance ministers open this calculation: "A large part of the federal government's services are limited and will cease from 2024," they balance. Only the annual refugee allowance of 1.25 billion euros is currently regulated. In comparison, the federal states would have received 4.5 billion and 2.8 billion euros from the federal government in 2022 and 2023, respectively. "In 2016, the federal government even paid 9.1 billion euros," they say, referring to the recent refugee crisis.
The federal government argues that in view of the large number of refugees from Ukraine, it will have massively expanded support from the federal states and municipalities again from 2022. However, this is happening in a different way than in 2015/16.