Kiel (dpa/lno) – Schleswig-Holstein estimates 5,300 asylum seekers and 1,500 additional refugees from Ukraine by the end of this year. Integration Minister Aminata Touré presented these figures in state parliament on Thursday. The country has accepted about 6,600 asylum seekers this year. There are also those who have sought refuge in Ukraine, around 35,000 people since the outbreak of the war. Touré acknowledged the city government’s hard work in accommodating and integrating those seeking refuge.
“Together with the city government, we are committed to pragmatic and sustainable solutions,” said Touré. In view of the sharp increase in the number of refugees, the FDP submitted an application with a list of migration policy demands. Therefore, the number of state accommodation places must be increased, repatriation management must be implemented consistently, and irregular migration must be prevented. Social benefits for asylum seekers should be reduced and more benefits in kind should be provided compared to cash. The request was rejected.
According to the Asylum Law, municipalities are free to provide benefits in kind, not in cash, Touré explained. “But most people don’t do this because it requires more administrative effort and costs and has nothing to do with aid.” The state will not require municipalities to do this.
The debate gained new momentum through agreements made by the federal government to make it easier for refugees to find work and facilitate deportation. The topic is also on the agenda of the Prime Minister’s Conference on Thursday and Friday.
The government plans to increase state accommodation in the north to 10,000 places, while the FDP and SPD believe as many as 15,000 places are needed. This is intended to ease the burden on city governments. The government remains committed to creating additional capacity if needed, Touré said. An increase is too late, said FDP politician Bernd Buchholz.
Regarding demands for a reduction in social benefits for asylum seekers, Touré said, according to the Federal Constitutional Court, the subsistence minimum for people in Germany should only be based on local conditions and not on conditions in other countries.
Touré reacted evasively to calls from the CDU prime minister to extend safe home countries to Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria as well as India and Armenia. “We will act for the security of our home countries if there are concrete proposals from the federal government,” he said. Touré explained that coalition partners the CDU and the Green Party have different views on this. Schleswig-Holstein only agreed to expand its list of countries to include Moldova and Georgia because Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU) had spoken out.
“More so-called safer countries of origin, as currently designed, is not an option for us,” said SSW parliamentary group leader Lars Harms. It is very strange when the Prime Minister represents a position at the federal level and makes concrete proposals that have not been agreed with the Green coalition partners. Here he hopes for more backbone from the Green Party. SPD parliamentary group leader Thomas Losse-Müller also lost his coordinating position in the coalition.
SPD state leader Serpil Midyatli criticized the government’s handling of the refugee situation. Municipal governments must push themselves to the limits of their capabilities. “Promises are not kept, promises are postponed and when promises can no longer be kept, they are referred to the federal government,” Midyatli said. He made it clear that he did not consider Touré a responsible minister.
“Especially in state elections in Bavaria and Hesse, surveys show that 80 percent of voters there want a different migration policy,” said CDU politician Seyran Papo, referring to related survey results. State politicians should make further efforts to ensure consistent and prompt repatriation of people who cannot stay in Germany.
SSW parliamentary group leader Lars Harms called for realism. “As long as the federal government has no further repatriation agreements with other states, those people should be redistributed,” he said. “Then it can be assumed that they are here for a long period of time.”
Prime Minister Günther called on the federal government to limit the influx of refugees and implement better management. There was an agreement with the federal government on May 10, Günther said, with the aim of a refugee summit with the Chancellor on November 6. The federal government must now implement the things agreed upon at that time. As the number of refugees increases, humane integration becomes increasingly difficult, Günther said.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:231012-99-537329/3
“Subtly charming web junkie. Unapologetic bacon lover. Introvert. Typical foodaholic. Twitter specialist. Professional travel fanatic.”