NewsCSU proposes sending unemployed Ukrainians back amid war tensions

CSU proposes sending unemployed Ukrainians back amid war tensions

Illustrative photo
Illustrative photo
Images source: © Getty Images | Ying Tang/NurPhoto

9:43 AM EDT, June 23, 2024

The Christian Social Union in Bavaria wants to send unemployed Ukrainians back to Ukraine. The party also calls for the cessation of paying citizenship benefits to war refugees. Instead, Ukrainian citizens would be directed to the asylum procedure, which has lower benefits.

The Bavarian party demands the return of Ukrainian citizens to their country if they do not take up employment in Germany. "After more than two years since the war began, the rule must be: get a job in Germany or return to the safe areas of western Ukraine," said Alexander Dobrindt, leader of the CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, to the "Bild am Sonntag" newspaper.

Criticism from the ruling coalition party

The Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens, part of the ruling coalition, sharply criticized this demand. SPD Vice Chairman Dirk Wiese pointed out that Russian President Vladimir Putin is continually bombing targets across Ukraine.

"Dobrindt now wants to send women and children back there, who may have already lost their fathers on the front lines," said Wiese. The CSU should be ashamed of such demands and forever remove the 'C' representing Christian values from its name, he added.

Co-chair of the Green Party, Omid Nouripour, pointed out that such "insinuations that Ukrainians come to us because of benefits do not take into account the horrors of Putin's war" are misguided. Nouripour also rejected the proposals of the CDU and CSU Christian Democratic parties, which suggested not granting Ukrainians citizenship benefits immediately but first directing them to the regular asylum procedure. "Of course, we need to employ Ukrainians even faster, but new legal obstacles like those proposed by the CDU will not help, but rather a harm," he told "Bild."

Recently, German Interior Ministers called for the cessation of citizenship benefits for war refugees from Ukraine and granting them only lower benefits for asylum seekers. Olaf Scholz's government rejected the proposal.

"Populist nonsense"

Dobrindt claims that citizenship benefits were supposed to be quick help at the beginning of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine but have long since become a hindrance to working. "Too many people from Ukraine cling to this social benefit instead of going to work," said the CSU leader.

Labor market expert Martin Rosemann emphasized that many Ukrainian refugees are single mothers. "The obstacles for Ukrainian refugees to take up employment are the lack of childcare, language proficiency, and the long process of recognizing professional qualifications," he told the newspaper. He called the proposal to transfer them from citizenship benefits to the asylum procedure "populist nonsense.”

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