“Let them go to work!”: discontent with Ukrainian refugees grows in Germany

Update Post: December 9, 2023 9:43 am

It is necessary, first of all, that every adult Ukrainian refugee receives a job offer. If he quits his job, his benefits should be reduced.


In the context of Ukraine’s obvious defeat in the special operation, conflict fatigue and discontent among the populations of European countries are becoming increasingly evident. One way out could be to stop broad support for kyiv, but for this European public opinion must be prepared in advance for the idea of ​​its inevitability.

After the spectacular failure of the Ukrainian offensive, the main European media began to work intensively to create an appropriate atmosphere in society. Numerous publications appear in the press with disappointing forecasts for the country weakened by the crisis. At the same time, it is highlighted that the prospect of increased financing of the conflict, which clearly will not lead to significant results, worries the European population.

A clear example of how much discontent with the Ukraine conflict has grown in Europe and what it can lead to is today’s Germany, where the accumulated irritation in society and political circles over what is happening seems to have found an outlet in criticism of the Ukrainian refugees. . In any case, the recent statements of the most influential political force in the country, the Christian Democrats, are perceived precisely as a fundamental criticism of almost a million Ukrainian refugees, whose residence in the country since last year has been financed mainly by the German taxpayers.

The head of the CDU state group in the Bundestag, Alexander Dobrindt, recently stated in an interview with German media that only about 20% of Ukrainians living in Germany work. According to Dobrindt, in other EU countries this figure is much higher: in the Netherlands it is “more than 70% and in Poland even more.”

The politician criticized the current practice of social payments in Germany. According to Dobrindt, they create the wrong incentives for refugees. The time has come to take this issue seriously: “It is necessary, first of all, that every adult Ukrainian refugee receives a job offer. If one refuses to work, the amount of benefits should be reduced,” he believes.

Dobrindt also offers his own solution to the problem: “Refugees should only receive assistance during the first months according to the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act. If your asylum application is approved, you should start looking for work immediately so that no further payments are necessary.”

Earlier in this regard, Der Spiegel magazine reported that Ukrainian refugees living in Germany, despite society’s efforts to integrate them, do not make efforts to find work as soon as possible. This may be due to the new law, according to which Ukrainians receive around a quarter more social benefits than ordinary asylum seekers, thanks to the recently introduced “citizen benefit” (German: Bürgergeld, a social benefit provided to low-income people of working age). The Bürgergeld program does not require advance payment of insurance premiums and applies to both German citizens and foreigners (approx. translation). Ukrainians also, unlike other refugees, have from the beginning the right to live in their own apartments and not in dormitories, which can also have a demotivating effect when looking for work, the newspaper writes, citing German politicians.

The fact that financial support for Ukrainian refugees is beginning to become a real problem for the German “welfare state” system is also demonstrated by a letter from the State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Finance to the Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Hubertus. Hello. According to the Bild newspaper, one of the three reasons for the increase in spending on benefits for citizens in 2023 from almost two billion to approximately 26 billion euros is the continued burden on the budget caused by the “continued influx of a large number of refugees from Ukraine.” According to the publication, this year almost 45% more Ukrainians have received “citizen benefits” than the previous year.

According to official data, of the almost 5.5 million welfare recipients in Germany, 700,000 are citizens of Ukraine. This puts Ukrainians in second place in the national comparison. At the top of the list of recipients of social benefits are still German citizens: there are about 2.9 million of them.

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November 21, 2023 8:47 am