Görlitz: Refugees: Overburdened bureaucracy causes frustration

Refugees: Overburdened bureaucracy causes frustration

The region lags behind in issuing documents to Ukrainians. Rental payments are delayed, which in turn upsets the hosts.

Written by Constanze Jongans


5 minutes

Even if the Ukrainian refugees were warmly welcomed, the paper tiger would soon lurk in the authorities for them and their hosts.
© dpa / avatar

More and more Ukrainians are moving into apartments. Hosts from Melaune, for example, found accommodation in Görlitz and Reichenbach, while Buchholz residents also found accommodation in Neissestadt. Some of them need more help and intensive care. There is no authority for that. Volunteers try to help, but they are also reaching their limits. Then there are the hosts in the country who have been providing Grandma’s apartments or their living quarters for weeks.

One of the owners is Matthias Myrciowski from Suhland. A total of 14 refugees were received in an apartment in Hagenwerder and on a bungalow in Markersdorf. Two traveled to Ukraine. The refugees have been living with him and his wife Irina since March 1, they also take care of many necessary administrative procedures and enroll children in schools. The owner has yet to see any money for the living space he provided. “I prepay the money for everything,” he says. It will be incurred around 200 EUR per day. “Of course I’m not subtracting people,” confirms Matias Merciovsky. However, it is very frustrating because everything is taking so long and the mountains of application documents for Ukrainians continue to grow. He can’t change anything about it.

There are delays in paying rent to landlords, confirms the district when asked. “This is due to the large number and different contracts in their design,” explains district spokeswoman Julia Pierre. As a rule, the region bears the costs of adequate housing. The immigration and duty station authorities will process all rental contracts available to the office. As of June 1, the Job Center will take over refugee affairs. theoretically.

With the change of responsibilities starting next month, a lot should really improve. But it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. Biggest problem: As of May 20, only 1,774 out of 3,236 refugees are registered in the Görlitz district. District spokeswoman Julia Pierre is calling the numbers. Everyone is still waiting for their fantasy testimonial. Without this certification, many other appointments are difficult and develop into a Gordian knot. Job center, savings bank need them to open accounts for refugees who have a Ukrainian passport only in the Cyrillic font. Hartz IV does not benefit without an account and does not benefit from health insurance without registering with the Job Center.

If you do not arrange a translator, it is difficult

The Job Center must register all Ukrainians with the health insurance company who have not yet done so. How long this will take is uncertain. And if you do not arrange an interpreter when opening an account, it will not be easy for you. Nothing works in Sparkasse without a compiler. “We cannot decipher handwritten Cyrillic words” on Ukrainian passports, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Bettina Richter Kastner said upon request. But interpreters are scarce, especially volunteers. At Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Niederschlesien, “some accounts have already been opened,” says board member Sven Fiedler. It is easier to have someone to translate when the account is opened. “But a translator is not mandatory,” says Sven Fiedler.

Anyone who is not yet able to create an account should continue to collect funds from the office. According to Julia Pierre, paydays were planned for this. Especially difficult for Ukrainians who live in the surrounding area. They can no longer use public transportation for free, and there is not always a bus. Without volunteer assistants and without the Internet, they know nothing about such appointments.

Without the district newspaper, which is still missing for more than a thousand Ukrainians, there is no automatic appropriation by the employment center. Katharina Seifert, escape and welcome counselor at CVJM Schlesische Oberlausitz, explains that anyone who does not receive the fictional certification until June must register themselves with the employment center. A big obstacle for many Ukrainians who do not speak German. Depending on the region, information and documents must be provided to the work center “bilingual, if possible, in German and Ukrainian”. However, an unknown number of refugees speak not at all Ukrainian, but Russian – especially people from the Donbass region.

Volunteers and hosts are still in demand. They, in turn, push themselves to the limits and are exhausted, as Katharina Seifert knows. Official visits, necessary visits to the doctor, furnishing the apartment with the help of used and assembled furniture, correspondence and applications are left to the authorities for volunteers. “And now, after more than three months, they are no longer able to,” Ms. Seifert says. “It will be important for the assistants to find help as well, for people who will take care of the various administrative procedures, visit refugees, and organize necessary things,” she says. However, finding it is not easy. There is no social welfare by the region. Despite the difficult situation, accommodation options can still be reported on the area’s website.

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