The state government assumes that a centralized distribution will soon lead to more war refugees from Ukraine arriving in the Rhineland-Palatinate. Prime Minister Malu Dreyer made this clear after the Prime Ministers’ Conference (MPK).
After the consultation, Dreyer said she was convinced central distribution “will now accelerate”. The distribution began yesterday, so it assumes an increased influx in the federal states, and therefore also in the Rhineland-Palatinate, according to Dreyer: “Of course, the people who come to us in the first place should stay where they have relatives or friends. If this is not the case, they should centralized distribution.
About 14,500 refugees from Ukraine in the Rhineland-Palatinate
According to the Prime Minister, 14,500 refugees from Ukraine have already arrived in the Rhineland-Palatinate. About 3,500 people are registered at the country’s five reception facilities. In addition, municipalities have reported 11,000 war refugees, Dreyer said. Rhineland-Palatinate is well prepared for more refugees. Last week, the state government announced that it would provide 50 million euros for the reception and care of refugees, 20 million of which will go to municipalities.
According to Prime Minister Dreyer, a total of 14,500 refugees from Ukraine have arrived in the Rhineland-Palatinate so far. More and more of them are finding a protective roof over their heads in the country.
Federal government agrees to help with costs
Federal Chancellor Olaf Schultz (Social Democratic Party) promised the federal states and municipalities financial support for the reception and care of war refugees from Ukraine. Prime Minister Dreyer described the funding as a “tremendous effort” for the federal, state and local governments. By the time the next prime ministers’ conference is held in three weeks at the latest, the working group should clarify “how we can deal fairly with the costs,” Dreyer said.
Relief from high energy prices
The Prime Minister stated that the meeting also discussed energy costs, which have increased significantly as a result of the war in Ukraine. It is important that price increases be ‘socially protected’. This is a heavy burden on citizens, especially those with low incomes, as well as on businesses in the state.
Dreyer welcomed the federal government’s decision that an already planned heating cost subsidy should be increased again. Eliminating the EEG surcharge, which will ease energy-intensive industries, is also an important contribution.
Rhineland-Palatinate and other countries relax later
No new decisions were taken regarding Corona at the Prime Minister’s Conference. It remains the case that most restrictions nationwide should end next Sunday (March 20). However, as the number of infections continues to rise – also in the Rhineland-Palatinate – the state government has decided to use a transition period. This means that most of the remaining Corona measures will not be lifted until April 3.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, corona rules will be further relaxed only on April 3 – two weeks later than initially planned. The state government decided this due to the high number of infections.
Criticism of the new infection protection law
Dreyer criticized that federal states with the new infection protection law have more difficult access to the topic of mask requirements. “There is a downsizing in the area of vulnerable groups,” she told SWR. “I think that would be beneficial for countries if they had more flexibility.”
Because all the experts said that the mask is the simplest way to control the infection, according to the prime minister. So she called on people in the Rhineland-Palatinate to voluntarily wear masks in certain situations even after the anti-corona measures expired.