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Berlin districts resist taking over refugees

Several Berlin districts have declared that they do not want to take any more refugees from the country. Lichtenberg's Mayor Michael Grunst (Die Linke) criticized the relocation plans of his party colleague, Integration Senator Elka Breitenbach, in a letter published on Wednesday by the Berliner Zeitung. "They know that the districts can no longer offer their own apartments," recalled Grunst.

The relocation of migrants to emergency shelters otherwise intended for the homeless is now reaching its limits. Especially in winter there is “a considerable occupancy rate” there. Relocating would jeopardize the integration of migrants that has so far been achieved. "According to the decisive conviction here, we as a city are risking both the integration successes of recent years and the social capital of civil society with the relocation initiative that has been started."

Neukölln councilor for social welfare rejects plans
The welfare councilor of Neukölln, Falko Liecke (CDU), was outraged about the plans of the Berlin city government to relocate. They are "complete nonsense" in terms of integration policy. There are no more apartments in Neukölln and alternative accommodation options are difficult to find. The same applies to emergency accommodation. On Monday he was on the so-called Cold Bus [Between November and March, full-time and volunteer workers from aid organizations drive through large cities at night looking for the homeless] and saw homeless people "from all over the world" there.

Liecke also complained that the resettlement of the refugees jeopardized previous integration successes. “We have children in daycare centers and schools. You are involved in refugee management projects. Now we have to rip them out of there. The tender plants of integration are kicked to death again."

Social Senator wants to move even more refugees
The Berlin Senator for Social Affairs announced last week that more migrants would be transferred from the state's reception facilities to the districts. She spoke of a hundred refugees per district. “A hundred people are not rocket science,” she justified the step. In doing so, she indicated that the relocation plans would be expanded in the future: "In the New Year we will then look further and let more people be accommodated."

The lack of living space has been discussed in Berlin for years. People sometimes apply unsuccessfully for a place to stay for months. In September, a majority of the city's population spoke out in favor of expropriating large homeowners in order to lower house prices.

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