Thousands of additional places for Ukrainian refugees to be created in Berlin
By the end of the year, the Berlin authorities plan to increase the number of places for refugees at the former Tegel and Tempelhof airports, as well as in hotels and hostels
This is reported by sueddeutsche.de with reference to the decision of the Senate.
"We are facing serious problems when it comes to accommodating refugees. The numbers have increased significantly over the past few days and weeks. All the premises in Berlin are occupied, so the Senate must act," said Mayor Kai Wegner.
The approved plans provide for the creation of about 5,500 additional beds. Of these, 1,500 beds will be rented to refugees in hotels and hostels, while an expansion of the territory and an additional hangar in Tempelhof will provide shelter for another 400-600 people.
The former Tegel airport is to be used to house twice as many refugees, adding 3,000 more beds to the existing 3,600. In addition, 300 to 400 beds will be provided in a former building materials warehouse and up to 200 beds in a tent city on the territory of a former psychiatric hospital in the Reinickendorf district.
"We're under pressure because the numbers have been rising significantly in the last few days and weeks, so we have to take measures that none of us would like to take," Wegner said. "For me, as mayor, it is important that all the people who come to our city have a roof over their heads."
However, as officials point out, the massive placement of refugees should only be a temporary solution. The main goal remains the integration of these individuals.
What is known about Ukrainian refugees in the EU
In January of this year, the UN reported that the number of Ukrainian refugees in Europe was approaching 8 million.
As of May 12, four million Ukrainian citizens who left after Russia's full-scale invasion began in February 2022 have been granted temporary protection in the European Union, including about 700,000 who are working and another 450,000 who are studying at schools and universities.
On June 20, Human Rights Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets reported that more than 8 million Ukrainians have become refugees. Of these, more than 5 million have applied for temporary resident status in neighboring Western European countries.
On September 13, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced further assistance to Ukrainian refugees in the EU.
On September 15, German Interior Minister Nancy Faser spoke in favor of extending the temporary protection of Ukrainian refugees for another year "as long as this terrible war continues."
On September 19, the European Commission proposed to extend temporary protection for Ukrainians fleeing Russia's aggression against Ukraine from March 4, 2024, to March 3, 2025. Subsequently, Greece and Estonia also joined in.