Berlin’s ruling mayor, Franziska Giffey, has called on the other federal states to help house Ukrainian war refugees. In recent days, Berlin has had to create “more than 1,000 overnight places,” the SPD politician in the Bundesrat said on Friday. This is taking the city “to the limit of resilience”.
“What is needed now above all is the nationwide coordination, registration and organization of this situation,” said the Berlin head of government. No federal state can handle such a burden on its own. On Friday night, the Berlin trade fair opened to accommodate people. with that there is “for the first time on a large scale a corridor situation” for the refugees. This shows “that we are reaching the limit of our capacity.”
Berlin Senator for Social Affairs Katja Kipping also addressed clear words to the federal government. At the start of the war, she felt she had to “shake up” the federal government first, Kipping said on ZDF’s “Maybritt Illner” program on Thursday night. Almost every day, Berlin had asked the federal government for support in distributing and accommodating people.
But even after more than two weeks, there was still news that “shocked” Kipping: Contrary to Berlin’s requests, on Thursday the Federal Ministry of the Interior again directed 17 buses, each carrying 60 people, from Poland directly to Berlin – “instead of sending them somewhere else, where there are also completely different housing options,” Kipping said, emphasizing, “I think the seriousness of the situation has not yet been understood everywhere.” She knows from other cities in Germany: “Communities there are waiting to help people.”
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It is estimated that up to 15,000 war refugees from Ukraine arrive in Berlin every day. “Since the beginning of the war, every day and every night has been a race for my team, for the crisis management team, but also for the many volunteers in Berlin,” Kipping said. A race between the number of accommodations and the growing number of arrivals. “And the bad thing is that we are only at the beginning.”[Alle aktuellen Entwicklungen aus der Ukraine und Berlin lesen Sie jeden Morgen ab 6 Uhr in unserem Tagesspiegel-Newsletter Checkpoint. Jetzt hier kostenlos abonnieren.]
Lars Klingbeil, co-head of the SPD, promised help from the federal government. “This is about fair distribution, which we need in Germany. All 16 federal states have a duty to do this,” Klingbeil said. “Berlin is doing an incredible amount at the moment. I have deep respect for him, but that has to change.” Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) has been preparing cooperation with the federal states for a long time. “The federal government,” Klingbeil said, “is clearly responsible. But it’s a situation that challenges all of us now.”
Rhineland-Palatinate Head of Government Malu Dreyer (SPD) said it was good that there is now coordination with the federal government on issues related to refugee accommodation. It is important “that we can do better.” That is why refugee care must also be discussed at next week’s prime ministers’ conference. (with AFP, dpa)