Totally up front: the region is illiquid in the millions

District Manager Dr. Heiko Bloom’s Vigil for Peace in Ukraine. And about the Ukrainian crisis, he says: “The situation is tense, but we will overcome it.”

© Oliver Hochhausen

  • toLars Becker


Stephanie Buntruk, Head of Social Affairs, reported that so far, 740 people from Ukraine have been registered in the Uelzen region. “In four weeks, that will be the workload that would be required otherwise in four years.” So far, the region has paid all the prepayments – and therefore will need additional funds in the millions, which politicians will have to agree to.

Uelzen County – “The situation is tense, but we will overcome it.” Heiko Blum talks about the situation in the Uelzen region in relation to the Ukraine crisis. As part of a press conference, he and Stephanie Buntruk, Head of Social Affairs, Anya Schön (Head of Regulatory Office) and Heike Bartelt (Head of Social Welfare Office) reported on the current situation in dealing with the refugee situation since Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine.

And the district manager made no secret of the fact that the multiple burdens on managing the district due to the Corona pandemic and the Ukraine crisis were enormous: more than 80 employees are still enrolled in the Corona Crisis Team, and there are now more than 40 others in the Ukraine Crisis Team. “It’s a grueling marathon, the goal of which is far from clear,” said Bloom, who has criticized the fact that the 2015/16 refugee crisis was more coordinated in cooperation with the state and federal government.

There is still no specific date for commissioning the old Federal Border Patrol post in Bad Bodenteich as an initial reception facility with a capacity twice the capacity of the old KGS Bad Bevensen sports hall now in use (300 instead of the current 150 places). One is in talks with the state, which are also about money.

“Waiting for clear statements and money!”

Bureaucratic and, above all, financial cooperation with Lower Saxony is as complex as the voluntary commitment of the people present here, as well as the participation of Ukrainian children and youth in schools. So far, the district has paid off all the down payments – with serious consequences:

“We are talking about additional costs in the millions, without a single compensation from the state yet. That is why we will have to deal with politics: we need seven-figure budget estimates, we need liquidity. We are currently thinking about a realistic amount. In the end it will work because The local authorities can do this. Berlin and Hanover depend on it. District Director Dr. Heiko Blum said.

740 Ukrainians have registered so far

“So far, not a single person has been officially appointed to us by the state,” explains Anja Schön, head of the district regulatory office and thus also the Aliens Registration Office. What does it mean?

A total of 740 people from Ukraine (as of Wednesday morning) have registered in the region so they can claim social benefits. The actual number is likely to be much higher because people who are privately accommodated are initially allowed to enter Germany without a visa and to move around in Germany for at least 90 days.

For 371 citizens of Ukraine (as of Tuesday evening), the complex process including identification, in which photographs and fingerprints are taken, has been completed. “150 cases can be processed per week, and we have already requested support from the police,” Anja Schön reports.

Anyone who is registered in this way receives a “mock certificate” in anticipation of a residence permit, which entitles him to work, for example. Once one of these people is officially assigned to Uelzen County when they apply, they can settle costs with the state on a quarterly basis. This is exactly what has not happened yet.

Flat rate 11500 euros per person per year

Basically, the region receives a flat rate of €11,500 per person per year, which should be enough to cover all costs from accommodation to healthcare. “The money was not enough during the refugee crisis in 2015/2016, and it will not be enough now,” Bloom doubts. The province is already paying in advance – in cash or to new accounts that all Ukrainians with biometric identity papers can open.

Another problem: There are still no quota regulations for refugee distribution — for example, based on the Königstein Key Model, which determines how 16 federal states participate in co-financing, according to tax revenue and population. “If this is used, it would mean for the Uelzen region that we would have to take in about 1,000 out of a million refugees across the country,” explained Stephanie Buntruck, Head of Social Affairs.

KGS: 77 of 150 occupied places

Currently it can accommodate up to 150 people after arriving at KGS Bad Bevensen, yesterday 77 places were occupied there. 30 people from Ukraine live in the Youth Training Center in Oldenstadt, which will return to its original purpose in the near future. The displaced still reside in the former youth village of Mülzen, explained Heike Bartelt, head of the Social Welfare Office.

In Bad Bodenteich on the former BGS site, up to 300 initial reception places will be available on the ground floor of several buildings – the maximum capacity of about 1000 people will certainly not be exhausted. “We had a plan to move to the site quickly. But we still couldn’t give a specific date,” says Stephanie Bontruk. It is about financial agreements with the state, for example on the subject of additional costs. It is about fire protection issues, and about second escape routes.

Bad Bodentech alternative to iPad Bevinson

“We are talking about replacing KGS Bad Bevensen, a parallel operation at both sites wouldn’t be possible. But we don’t want to create a permanent facility in Bodentech for months or years,” said District Manager Dr. Heiko Blum. About individual guestrooms in apartments.

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