Peter Kossen, a priest to defend foreign workers in the meat sector

Peter Kossen is not afraid to criticize the German meat industry. This 52-year-old Catholic priest with an almost shaved head has for years denounced the poor working conditions suffered by workers from Eastern Europe.

With the explosion in the number of Covid-19 cases in several slaughterhouses, his speech became even more audible. Last scandal to date, this week, the fact that more than 1,555 employees of the giant Tönnies have tested positive for coronavirus out of the 7,000 who work in the largest meat factory in Germany, in Gütersloh.

“Criminal and mafia structures”

“The case of Tönnies is far from unique” sums up this Catholic father who officiates in the parish of Lengerich, near Münster. “In the past, butchery trades were well paid. Today, the local workforce is replaced by cheap, Romanian and Bulgarian workers, who are often exploited ”, accuses this priest who created an association to advise migrants.

“We are dealing with criminal and mafia structures”, he advances. “Working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week is illegal in Germany. However, the system of subcontracting to foreign companies, the delegation of responsibilities on the part of German employers and the fact that no one dares to complain makes this system last, “ he ensures by also denouncing the unsanitary conditions of collective housing. “Some people rent a mattress which they take turns. Their health situation was already precarious before the epidemic. They are vulnerable to the new virus “, denounces this prelate.

Quarantine measure on the eve of vacation

For Peter Kossen, the responsibilities are manifold. “Politics is supposed to regulate and control the sector. She failed. Society also has a share of responsibility when it pretends to ignore. Romanians and Bulgarians in the meat sector live in a parallel world ”, he protests.

Local public opinion, however, seems to have raised awareness. With the scandal at Tönnies, the 600,000 inhabitants of the municipalities of Gütersloh and Warendorf were again placed in confinement on June 23. The anger is great, especially since the school holidays begin this Saturday, June 27, and that some Länder have decreed a quarantine, or even a ban, for tourists from these areas.

Faced with the gravity of the situation, the federal government wants to ban subcontracts in the meat sector. “It is a first step, important and necessary but insufficient”, judge Peter Kossen. Some suggest reducing the size of meat cutting and processing factories, others advocate state management of slaughterhouses.

The authorities, they are increasing the number of crisis meetings to prevent these localized outbreaks from generating a second wave of epidemic throughout the country.

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What UAZ “Loaf” and LADA Priora fell in love with the foreigners

These cars for the Germans, Koreans and Japanese — exotic.

Photo: UAZ “Loaf”, the source www.macos.ms

In Russia the UAZ “Loaf” buy because of its maneuverability, and maintainability, although a significant part of motorists’m sure poor quality build, tendency to rust and lack of comfort block all the advantages “Tadpole”. Motorists with Pikabu, for example, scold the SUV for unreliability: “on the one hand, it can leak oil, or cover with a grip for no apparent reason, so much so that the tow truck can not do.”

At the same time, the UAZ “Loaf” on a par with a LADA Priora fell in love with the aliens, causing great interest from drivers from near and far abroad.

Thanks to the mechanical gearbox, UAZ “Loaf” is popular among Germans and Japanese. Thus they return to the days when the driver can fully control his vehicle and not rely on “automatic”. In addition, the model makes foreigners nostalgia, according to the user Drive2.ru nick Alex350110, UAZ “Loaf” is “an icon of utilitarian style” in the land of the Rising sun.

Japanese motorists are willing to pay from $ 40,000that is 2 795 000, for the “supply” model in the country and modification of the motor. This exceeds the cost of the new “Tadpole” in the maximum configuration 2.7 times. The owners rarely do any tuning as the UAZ, they like the way it rolled off the Assembly line — nice and “big eyes.”

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As for LADA Priora, the sedan has attracted officials in North Korea. Another user Drive2.ru nick ArtKhokholev says that in 2008, the DPRK government has bought at “Gazprom” the government needs to 600 copies of “priors”. The reason for that acceptable fuel consumption from 6.8 to 7.3 liters per 100 kilometers. Himself Kim Jong-UN repeatedly flashed in the back seat of Russian CD-Kara’s surprise press.

Photo: left UAZ “Loaf”, the source www.macos.ms right LADA Priora, the source of the Agency Yonhap

Despite all the exoticism, the UAZ “Loaf” sell abroad officially since the van is not enough environmentally friendly and does not meet safety standards — the aliens have to “distill” Ulyanovsk bestseller from Russia and refined to modern standards.

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Woidke asks Poland to open a border for commuters

Dietmar Woidke

Brandenburg’s Prime Minister appeals to the Polish government.

(Photo: dpa)

Potsdam, Frankfurt (Oder) Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) has asked Poland to relax the strict corona rules for commuters who work in Germany. “In my view, commuters should have the opportunity to get to their jobs on the other side of the border,” wrote Woidke, who coordinates German-Polish cooperation for the German government, to the Germany coordinator in Poland, Bartosz Grodecki.

He campaigned for pragmatic solutions if the restrictions were extended. The “Märkische Oderzeitung” from Frankfurt (Oder) reported on Saturday. The national conservative government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki closed the borders for foreigners in the middle of March in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Commuters must return to Poland for two weeks of domestic isolation after returning to Poland. According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) in southern and eastern Brandenburg, this affects more than 25,000 commuters in Brandenburg and Berlin. Brandenburg supports the commuters financially.

On Friday evening, protests against the border closure occurred on both sides of the German-Polish border. Around 300 people took to the streets in the neighboring town of Ggorlitz, Zgorzelec, the PAP news agency reported.

There were demonstrations in the border towns of Slubice near Frankfurt (Oder), Rosowek in West Pomerania and Gubin in Lower Lusatia, each with more than a hundred participants. According to the police, the protests were quiet.

“Think of a common economic region”

“The region is split in half, which makes life very difficult for many people in the border area,” said Marta Szuster, a spokeswoman for the protests in Rosowek to the news agency. According to police, around 50 people, including schoolchildren and commuters, demonstrated in Frankfurt (Oder) against the closure of the Polish border. This demonstration was also trouble-free.

Woidke wrote in the letter to Poland: “The German side understands the border controls that Poland has introduced. But we also have to keep in mind that the border cuts through a common economic region. ”

Last weekend, when the Germany coordinator was appointed in Warsaw, the head of government advertised that the partnership would not be damaged by the corona pandemic.

More: Since the corona crisis, calls for a strong state have been increasing. The Polish government is just about right. Other EU countries are reacting with caution.

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Minors from Greek camps arrived in Germany

The group before boarding the plane

The majority of the 49 unaccompanied minors with an average age of 13 years come from Afghanistan and Syria.

(Photo: dpa)

Athens, Hanover 47 unaccompanied minor refugees who had recently lived in camps on the Greek island landed at Hanover Airport on Saturday morning. They will initially be housed for a two-week quarantine in the Osnabrück district before being distributed to the federal states.

As the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced, there are 42 children and 5 adolescents, 4 of whom are accompanied by younger siblings. 4 of the 47 minors are girls.

“I am pleased that we can receive the first unaccompanied children today – despite the severe stress caused by the corona crisis,” said Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU). Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) described the arrival of the refugee children as a start.

The unaccompanied children and adolescents were housed in refugee camps on the Greek islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios. They come from Afghanistan, Syria and Eritrea.

The ministry of migration in Athens initially mentioned 49 minors after the start. According to the German ministries, there were also 47 children on board, as well as 2 children who had been kidnapped by their father to Greece and returned to their mother living in Germany.

More: Virus outbreak threatens in crowded camps on the Greek islands. Now some children from the camps have arrived in Germany.

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Media report: Interior Ministry wants to make naturalization more difficult

naturalization

Incorrect information on origin and identity can make naturalization difficult.


(Photo: dpa)

Berlin Foreigners who have given a wrong name or a wrong home country when entering Germany should have a later problem with naturalization according to plans by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The “Welt” (online / print Friday) reports that it is planned not to count the years spent here under a false identity, referring to a draft law by the ministry. This is important because a foreigner must have lived in the country for eight years before the German passport can be applied for.

There can be various reasons for deception about identity or origin. So deportation is hardly possible if the person concerned has no papers and his home country is unknown.

According to the report, the draft law further stipulates that so-called identity fraudsters should be denied a (temporary) residence permit (otherwise usually granted to foreigners) and a later (permanent) settlement permit. This in turn is necessary in order to be naturalized. After the planned change in the law, those affected would already fail because of the settlement permit. Accordingly, the “clarification of identity and nationality as a mandatory requirement in the right of residence for the issue of a settlement permit” should be laid down.

The third hurdle concerns children of so-called identity deceivers. Up to now, children born in Germany to two foreign parents have generally received the German passport from birth if one parent has already lived in the country for eight years. In the future, the clarified identity and nationality of parents will be laid down as a “prerequisite” for this acquisition of citizenship of children born in Germany.

More: Federal Interior Minister Seehofer wants a ban on naturalization for people in multiple marriages.

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In the Greek refugee camps, the fear of corona is at stake

Specialists warn: A time bomb is ticking in the camps. Because now the corona epidemic is evoking new dangers. In two refugee camps north of Athens, 28 residents have already tested positive. The camps are now under quarantine.

There are still no known cases of infection in the island camps, but the fear of the virus is widespread in the camps. Many residents wear masks. The recommendation to keep away sounds like a mockery to the people who are crammed together in the accommodations in a confined space.

Even washing your hands is a problem: “In some parts of the Moria camp, 1,300 people have to share access to water at a tap, and there is no soap,” reports the aid organization Doctors Without Borders.

Experts fear that it will only be a matter of time before the epidemic spreads to the island camps. Florian Westphal, Managing Director of Doctors Without Borders in Germany, says there are about 600 particularly vulnerable camp residents in Lesbos and Samos alone: ​​older people and those with previous illnesses, but also sick children. The aid organization demands: “We need an emergency evacuation of all refugees from the Covid 19 high-risk group before the virus reaches the camps.”

Around 100,000 migrants currently live in Greece. They have been stuck there since the Balkans closed their borders in February 2015. Nobody knows exactly the number of children and young people traveling alone who have been stranded in Greece. It is estimated to be more than 5,100, of which around 500 are under the age of 14. Some set off alone as orphans, others lost their parents and siblings in the confusion of flight.

graphic

According to a survey by the National Center for Social Solidarity (Ekka), which is subordinate to the Greek Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, only 1836 unaccompanied minors are cared for in suitable accommodation on the mainland. The others live in camps or are completely on their own.

The age-appropriate accommodation and care of unaccompanied minors is expensive and personnel-intensive. “You have to put them in small groups of no more than 25 children,” explains Giorgos Protopapas, director of SOS Children’s Villages in Greece.

The international organization has decades of experience in dealing with orphans and children from broken families. “Many of these children and adolescents are deeply traumatized. Psychologists, doctors, educators and interpreters are needed around the clock to look after them,” Protopapas explains.

800 unaccompanied children live on the streets

The head of the SOS Children’s Villages estimates that around 800 unaccompanied children and adolescents in Greece “live on the street” and try to make ends meet, often with prostitution and drug trafficking.

Gavriil Sakellaridis, Greece director of Amnesty International, cites an even higher number: “Around 1200 unaccompanied migrants under the age of 18 have simply disappeared from the focus of the authorities and are very likely to be exposed to serious risks without protection,” says Sakellaridis.

Almost 1,700 minors live without relatives in the five camps on the East Aegean islands. Above all, it is about the relocations that are starting now. The conditions in the five hot spots on the islands of Lesbos, Samos, Kos, Chios and Leros are catastrophic.

Moria refugee camp in Lesbos

There are still no known cases of infection in the island camps like here in Moria on Lesbos, but the fear of the virus is widespread in the camps.


(Photo: dpa)

The accommodations are designed for less than 8000 people. In fact, 39,429 migrants are penned up there, according to official statistics from mid-week. Because there is no more space in the living containers, an estimated 30,000 people, including many families with young children, live in camping tents or crates that they have made of slats, cardboard and plastic sheeting themselves.

The worst is the situation on Samos, where the Vathy camp with 6932 inhabitants is more than tenfold overcrowded. For example, 22 underage girls live here in a residential container that is only intended for five people.

Not enough couches for the camp residents

Because there are not enough beds, the girls have to try to sleep alternately. On the notorious Camp Moria on the island of Lesbos, 18 804 people live in accommodations that are designed for 2757 people.

Moria has made headlines as “Shame on Europe”. Residents speak of the camp as “hell”. The aid organization Human Rights Watch has documented the fate of young people in Moria. “Everything is dangerous here: the cold, the tent in which I sleep, the fights – I don’t feel safe,” says 14-year-old Afghan Rachid.

The 15-year-old Ali says that when he arrived in Moria he was given a sleeping bag and told him: “Find a place to sleep outside.” The same happened to the 16-year-old Samir: “You gave me a blanket, a used T -Shirt and a small mat and told me to look for a place outside. “The frustration of the young people is increasingly escalating into aggression: On Wednesday a 20-year-old Afghan stabbed a 16-year-old boy in an argument in Moria.

He was shocked when he visited Camp Moria, reports Christos Christou, president of the aid organization Doctors Without Borders. A third of the camp residents are under the age of 18. “These children and young people have lost their appetite for life, they don’t speak, they don’t play.”

The situation in Moria is “comparable to what we see after natural disasters or in war zones”. It is outrageous to see these conditions in Europe and to know that they “are not the result of a disaster, but the result of targeted political decisions,” says Christou.

The Greek government is trying to relieve the overcrowded island camps. Around 11,000 people have been relocated from the islands to the mainland since the beginning of the year. But most of the accommodations there are now too busy.

Greece has been demanding for years that the other EU countries take over part of the asylum procedures. The EU has been discussing a reform of the European asylum system since 2015. The aim is to relieve the countries of first arrival and to distribute the asylum procedures to all member states. But the reform is still a long time coming, mainly because some Eastern European countries refuse to accept refugees at all.

More: The admission of refugee children is a question of decency: after Germany, other EU countries should also get their way.

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Corona crisis exacerbates nursing emergency

Berlin Easter with the family is canceled for Danka C. this year, instead she spends the holidays in Bielefeld. The 60-year-old Polish woman from Toruń actually goes home for a few days at this time every year. Now she stays with the old lady in North Rhine-Westphalia, who looks after her as a nurse. Of course, she would like to celebrate Easter at home, says Danka, who would rather read her first name in the newspaper. But she was concerned about being stuck in Poland afterwards. Because the barriers in Europe are down again because of the corona pandemic.

Danka is one of many Eastern Europeans who look after elderly people in need of help in German families. They are available around the clock and often work on the brink of exploitation. Without the household care aids, the care system in the Federal Republic would collapse, but they do not appear in any official statistics.

According to a study by the trade union-related Hans Böckler Foundation in 2017, around one in twelve nursing households has an Eastern European assistant, which would be around 175,000 people. The employers’ association nursing even speaks of up to 400,000 privately cared for households. And by no means all nursing assistants endure their jobs in the corona crisis, like Danka in Bielefeld.

In addition to this so-called gray care market, regular care for the elderly also relies on foreign specialists, and many come from Eastern Europe. The federal government has set itself the goal of recruiting even more staff from abroad. That was before Corona. Now the already thin staff ceiling at outpatient care services and in old people’s homes threatens to tear.

The federal government’s care representative, Andreas Westerfellhaus, makes it clear: “From the German side, neither the entry nor the exit of foreign care and support staff working with us is unnecessarily hindered.” Eastern European care workers could issue a commuter card from their employer or the placement agency with which they can cross the border into Germany. Some neighboring countries would have closed the borders completely on their side.

Caregivers at home in quarantine

Countries such as Poland and Slovakia quarantine local nurses who work in Germany and are visiting at home. A quick return trip is not possible. “These nurses are then missing in our care,” Westerfellhaus told the Handelsblatt. The Federal Government is in talks with the Eastern European countries to facilitate the entry of urgently needed nursing staff. “However, it is not easy at these times.”

graphic

Peter Blassnigg manages the business at Promedica Plus, a placement agency for household nursing assistants. The company has around 8,000 carers under contract, 400 employees recruit and train them in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. Blassnigg says: “Every day is a new challenge for us, depending on what the country of origin decides.” Caregivers from Romania and Bulgaria would be stuck in their home country because the overland route to Germany is blocked by Hungary.

The company usually guarantees that a helper will arrive at a German family within five days. “It doesn’t always work out right now,” says Blassnigg. Every Tuesday and Friday, around 20 company minibuses set off to pick up caregivers from Eastern Europe. In normal times, bus transports rush through the Schengen area without any problems. Now the nursing assistants have to carry papers that document their travel route and their destination – in the hope of crossing the border.

The situation is also getting worse in outpatient day care and in old people’s homes. The head of the Federal Association of Private Providers of Social Services (bpa), Bernd Meurer, says: “The corona restrictions for foreign, in particular Eastern European, nurses will certainly exacerbate the shortage of skilled workers.”

Thomas Greiner, President of the Nursing Employers Association, says: “There is a hopeless situation: Inpatient facilities have admission stops. Outpatient services cannot accept new customers. The Eastern European care workers cannot enter Germany for home care and they are currently not coming to Germany from third countries. “

Regions on the border with Poland are particularly affected. At the end of March, the government in Warsaw ordered a 14-day quarantine at home after entry. This poses major problems for commuters who tend to cross the border every day. In Brandenburg, according to the local bpa state association, entire intensive care teams are affected by the Polish regulation. The state government in Potsdam is trying to convince commuters from Poland with an allowance of 65 euros per day to stay in Germany for the time being. This is to compensate for the costs of accommodation and meals.

Politicians were preoccupied with the shortage of nursing staff even before the corona crisis. Tens of thousands of jobs are vacant in Germany. The Grand Coalition had associations, unions, employers and health insurance companies discuss solutions for a year, and last summer the government presented the results of its “Concerted Care Action”. One component of the strategy is to recruit more nurses from abroad. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) flew to Kosovo and Mexico to personally sign agreements there. At the moment, Spahn has to do everything possible to deal with the corona crisis. And efforts to find new nurses from abroad are stalling.

Westerfellhaus says: “The recruitment measures of the federal government are continuing intensively, among other things with the newly founded German specialist agency for health and care professions.” At the moment, however, this is “very difficult” given the global health crisis. However, the Federal Government is endeavoring to speed up ongoing recognition procedures for foreign specialists. According to the Federal Employment Agency, around 80,000 of the roughly 600,000 employees in geriatric care who were subject to social security contributions came from abroad in 2019.


In the corona crisis, nursing employers say they have a significant impact on recruiting abroad. The borders are practically tight within the European Union. For third countries, a 30-day entry ban by sea and air applies. People with “systemically relevant professions” are exempted from this, including nursing staff.

However, many German embassies and consulates have closed abroad, the nursing employers’ association says. Official approvals and the issuance of new visas are thus blocked. And even if all the necessary documents for entry to Germany are available, there are often no flights to Germany. In addition, more and more countries would impose a freeze on home care workers due to increasing corona infections.

Admission stop for homes

The shortage of staff is a concern for care providers, but they have much greater concerns. Older people, especially those with previous illnesses, are particularly at risk of dying from the respiratory disease Covid-19 caused by the coronavirus. The deaths in old people’s homes in Wolfsburg and Würzburg illustrate the risks if the pathogen spreads in a facility. In the meantime, some federal states have imposed an admission freeze for homes, in many places there are bans on visits.

There is also a lack of protective equipment for nursing staff. “We are extremely concerned that we will have to face this wave of infection without adequate protective clothing,” says bpa boss Meurer. “The hope that the federal government will equip us accordingly is waning more and more every day.” The Ministry of Health has been procuring centrally for several weeks. But the demand on the world market is huge, and in Germany medical practices and hospitals also complain about bottlenecks.

Kaspar Pfister is the owner of the care provider Benevit, the family-owned company from Baden-Württemberg looks after around 2300 inpatient and outpatient patients. By the middle of last week, nine nurses and nine residents had been infected with Corona, two people had died. Pfister says his company needs up to 3000 respirators a day. The textile manufacturer Trigema is now supplying masks that can be washed and reused.

Pfister says that quarantine is nothing new in nursing homes. This happens again and again, for example with flu waves or because of gastrointestinal infections. “But Covid-19 is already the challenge of the century.”

More: We would be on the verge of collapse if women did not take on nursing or day care jobs. The corona crisis shows again that they have to be paid better. A comment.

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The thin staff ceiling in old people’s homes could tear

Berlin Thanks to C. this year, Easter with the family is canceled, she spends the holidays in Bielefeld. The 60-year-old Polish woman from Toruń actually goes home for a few days at this time every year. Now she stays with the old lady in North Rhine-Westphalia, who looks after her as a nurse. Of course, she would like to celebrate Easter at home, says Danka, who would rather read her first name in the newspaper. But she was concerned about being stuck in Poland afterwards. Because the barriers in Europe are down again because of the corona pandemic.

Danka is one of many Eastern Europeans who look after elderly people in need of help in German families. They are available around the clock and often work on the brink of exploitation. Without the household care aids, the care system in the Federal Republic would collapse, but they do not appear in any official statistics.

According to a study by the trade union-related Hans Böckler Foundation in 2017, around one in twelve nursing households has an Eastern European assistant, which would be around 175,000 people. The employers’ association nursing even speaks of up to 400,000 privately cared for households. And by no means all nursing assistants endure their jobs in the corona crisis, like Danka in Bielefeld.

In addition to this so-called gray care market, regular care for the elderly also relies on foreign specialists, and many come from Eastern Europe. The federal government has set itself the goal of recruiting even more staff from abroad. That was before Corona. Now the already thin staff ceiling at outpatient care services and in old people’s homes threatens to tear.

The federal government’s care representative, Andreas Westerfellhaus, makes it clear: “From the German side, neither the entry nor the exit of foreign care and support staff working with us is unnecessarily hindered.” Eastern European care workers could issue a commuter card from their employer or the placement agency with which they can cross the border into Germany. Some neighboring countries would have closed the borders completely on their side.

Caregivers at home in quarantine

Countries such as Poland and Slovakia quarantine local nurses who work in Germany and are visiting at home. A quick return trip is not possible. “These nurses are then missing in our care,” Westerfellhaus told the Handelsblatt. The Federal Government is in talks with the Eastern European countries to facilitate the entry of urgently needed nursing staff. “However, it is not easy at these times.”

graphic

Peter Blassnigg manages the business at Promedica Plus, a placement agency for household nursing assistants. The company has around 8,000 carers under contract, 400 employees recruit and train them in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. Blassnigg says: “Every day is a new challenge for us, depending on what the country of origin decides.” Caregivers from Romania and Bulgaria would be stuck in their home country because the overland route to Germany is blocked by Hungary.

The company usually guarantees that a helper will arrive at a German family within five days. “It doesn’t always work out right now,” says Blassnigg. Every Tuesday and Friday, around 20 company minibuses set off to pick up caregivers from Eastern Europe. In normal times, bus transports rush through the Schengen area without any problems. Now the nursing assistants have to carry papers that document their travel route and their destination – in the hope of crossing the border.

The situation is also getting worse in outpatient day care and in old people’s homes. The head of the Federal Association of Private Providers of Social Services (bpa), Bernd Meurer, says: “The corona restrictions for foreign, in particular Eastern European, nurses will certainly exacerbate the shortage of skilled workers.”

Thomas Greiner, President of the Nursing Employers Association, says: “There is a hopeless situation: Inpatient facilities have admission stops. Outpatient services cannot accept new customers. The Eastern European care workers cannot enter Germany for home care and they are currently not coming to Germany from third countries. “

Regions on the border with Poland are particularly affected. At the end of March, the government in Warsaw ordered a 14-day quarantine at home after entry. This poses major problems for commuters who tend to cross the border every day. In Brandenburg, according to the local bpa state association, entire intensive care teams are affected by the Polish regulation. The state government in Potsdam is trying to convince commuters from Poland with an allowance of 65 euros per day to stay in Germany for the time being. This is to compensate for the costs of accommodation and meals.

Politicians were preoccupied with the shortage of nursing staff even before the corona crisis. Tens of thousands of jobs are vacant in Germany. The Grand Coalition had associations, unions, employers and health insurance companies discuss solutions for a year, and last summer the government presented the results of its “Concerted Care Action”. One component of the strategy is to recruit more nurses from abroad. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) flew to Kosovo and Mexico to personally sign agreements there. At the moment, Spahn has to do everything possible to deal with the corona crisis. And efforts to find new nurses from abroad are stalling.

Westerfellhaus says: “The recruitment measures of the federal government are continuing intensively, among other things with the newly founded German specialist agency for health and care professions.” At the moment, however, this is “very difficult” given the global health crisis. However, the Federal Government is endeavoring to speed up ongoing recognition procedures for foreign specialists. According to the Federal Employment Agency, around 80,000 of the roughly 600,000 employees in geriatric care who were subject to social security contributions came from abroad in 2019.


In the corona crisis, nursing employers say they have a significant impact on recruiting abroad. The borders are practically tight within the European Union. For third countries, a 30-day entry ban by sea and air applies. People with “systemically relevant professions” are exempted from this, including nursing staff.

However, many German embassies and consulates have closed abroad, the nursing employers’ association says. Official approvals and the issuance of new visas are thus blocked. And even if all the necessary documents for entry to Germany are available, there are often no flights to Germany. In addition, more and more countries would impose a freeze on home care workers due to increasing corona infections.

Admission stop for homes

The shortage of staff is a concern for care providers, but they have much greater concerns. Older people, especially those with previous illnesses, are particularly at risk of dying from the respiratory disease Covid-19 caused by the coronavirus. The deaths in old people’s homes in Wolfsburg and Würzburg illustrate the risks if the pathogen spreads in a facility. In the meantime, some federal states have imposed an admission freeze for homes, in many places there are bans on visits.

There is also a lack of protective equipment for nursing staff. “We are extremely concerned that we will have to face this wave of infection without adequate protective clothing,” says bpa boss Meurer. “The hope that the federal government will equip us accordingly is waning more and more every day.” The Ministry of Health has been procuring centrally for several weeks. But the demand on the world market is huge, and in Germany medical practices and hospitals also complain about bottlenecks.

Kaspar Pfister is the owner of the care provider Benevit, the family-owned company from Baden-Württemberg looks after around 2300 inpatient and outpatient patients. By the middle of last week, nine nurses and nine residents had been infected with Corona, two people had died. Pfister says his company needs up to 3000 respirators a day. The textile manufacturer Trigema is now supplying masks that can be washed and reused.

Pfister says that quarantine is nothing new in nursing homes. This happens again and again, for example with flu waves or because of gastrointestinal infections. “But Covid-19 is already the challenge of the century.”

More: We would be on the verge of collapse if women did not take on nursing or day care jobs. The corona crisis shows again that they have to be paid better. A comment.

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Confined in France, doubly isolated foreign students

“I’m getting used to it!” This is my third confinement in a row! ” Originally from China, Ran Yan has lived in a room at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris for over two years. In January, she went home to celebrate the Chinese New Year and was “Confined for the first time”. Then was “Placed in quarantine for 14 days” upon his return to France.

→ LIVE – Coronavirus: the latest news in France and worldwide

Student in second year of Master in Communication at Sciences-Po, she is on an apprenticeship contract with the LVMH group: “All of my courses are online and I have to continue teleworking my apprenticeship contract. “ More concerned for her family than for her own health, she found “More reasonable to sit quietly in [sa] small room “, where she feels “Much safer”.

When foreign confinement was announced, many foreign academics who came to study in France returned to their families. In particular “Americans and Europeans”, notes Laurence Marion, Director General of the Cité internationale. But two-thirds of them stayed.

Stay to avoid endangering others

This is the case of Yacine Abdelkefi, Tunisian and student at ESSEC, for fear of contaminating his “Parents or even (his) grandparents”. “The problem is that there we are all very close, we are very attached to our habits and applying the barrier gestures between us is complicated”, he admits. To alleviate his loneliness, however, he left his university room in Cergy (Val-d’Oise) to join his cousin’s apartment in Paris.

→ READ. Welcoming foreign students, a source of income for France

“In France I lack nothing, but in Tunisia the threat of shortage and the problems of organization are much more important”, he explains.

Chiara Barbonese, a student in international relations at the University of Turin, also decided to stay, for “Go to the end of your Erasmus program”, in the company of two other Italian students. To brighten up her long days, she tries singing : ” I love singing very much. Every evening at 7:30 p.m. I sing on the balcony and others answer. “

Kill boredom with social media

For her, as for others, what should have been a break from freedom turns into a trial. Everyone has no choice but to organize to try to kill boredom, especially through social networks. “At the moment there is a challenge organized at the Cité internationale. It’s a battle dance between the members of each house “, says Ran Yan.

→ READ. How the University of Mulhouse is adapting to the coronavirus epidemic

“My favorite time of day is when my neighbor across the way starts playing music at 8:00 pm”, says Aysun Zeynolova, who arrived from Azerbaijan in 2018 and is a second-year master’s student at Sciences-Po Paris. Locked in a university residence with “Twenty people”, she started talking to them. “Little extras that do good “Recognizes the young girl who says to herself “Introverted” and experienced a long period of depression.

Financial insecurity

For some, financial insecurity adds to the worry for their families. University restaurants have closed and student jobs have become impossible.

Roxanne Guignon manages the solidarity grocery stores of the General Association of Students of Paris (AGEP) for precarious students. Due to a lack of supplies and volunteers, she had to close her two solidarity grocery stores in inner Paris but mobilized to continue to help them : “We are trying to redirect them to other organizations such as Secours Populaire for example. We also do almost daily follow-up with them, via WhatsApp conversations. “

For its part, the management of the Cité internationale universitaire will “Set up a scholarship system, on a case-by-case basis”.

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The Corona time bomb is ticking in the Greek migrant camps

Athens The northeast wind drove dark clouds on Friday from the Turkish coast over the island of Lesbos. Showers fell. As always, when it rains, the trails in the Moria refugee camp turned into mud deserts. The water flushes the garbage down into the valley, seeps into the tents, soaks blankets and mattresses. “We have to act before it is too late,” says Fotini Kokkinaki from the aid organization “HumanRights360”.

For years, helpers have drawn attention to the terrible conditions in which tens of thousands of people have to live in the migrant camps on the Greek Aegean Islands. Doctors kept warning about the risk of epidemics. The fear of the corona virus is now widespread in the camps. “If the virus arrives in the crowded camps, the consequences will be devastating,” Kokkinaki warns.
Curfews, closed schools, shops and restaurants: For weeks the Greek government has been fighting against the spread of the corona virus with new bans. However, the authorities initially paid little attention to the situation in the overcrowded migrant camps. The contagion drive there is particularly great because of the large spatial confinement in which people live.

So far, according to the government’s official statement in Athens, there are no known cases of infection in the migrant camps on the islands. But that says little, because there are no systematic tests at all.

The temperature is only measured for newcomers. According to official information from the end of this week, 40 703 residents live in the five so-called hotspots, the initial reception centers on the Aegean islands of Samos, Lesbos, Leros, Chios and Kos – crammed into camps that are designed to accommodate 8896 people.

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19 283 migrants live in the notorious Moria camp on Lesvos, with space for 2757 residents. Because the official warehouse built from residential containers has been overcrowded for years, an estimated 15,000 people, including many families with children, live in the adjacent olive groves. They pitched camping tents there or made slats, cardboard and plastic tarpaulins.

Experts fear that the virus has long been rampant in Moria and the other camps, even if it has not yet been detected. The Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum is trying to ban the impending danger with a twelve-point plan.

Visits to the camps

This includes bans on visits to the camps. They also apply to employees of non-governmental organizations that used to play an important role in the care of people. The freedom of movement of the camp residents is also restricted.

So far, they could move freely on the islands. Now they are only allowed to leave the camps in small groups for shopping between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., but only one person per family.

Sports events and school lessons in the camps are discontinued. The sanitary facilities and common areas should be disinfected regularly. It is also planned to set up isolation stations. But it is difficult to imagine how this should be implemented in the chaotic camps.

With multilingual leaflets and loudspeaker announcements, the camp residents are informed about the precautions they can take to reduce the risk of infection. But the recommendation to keep your distance and avoid crowds of people must sound like a mockery to the camp residents.

You cannot avoid each other. Camp Vathy on Samos was built for 648 residents, but currently houses 7264 people. There are 816 places in the camp on Kos, but 2969 residents. The camp on Chios is five times overcrowded with 5363 residents.

Experts warn of uncontrollable conditions if the virus spreads in the camps. “Given the circumstances, it would be impossible to control the outbreak of the epidemic in the hotspots – thousands of lives would be in danger,” says Antigone Lyberaki of the aid organization Solidarity Now. “There is a time window to deal with the situation, but this window closes quickly.”

Government refuses to close camps

The human rights organization Human Rights Watch appealed to the government this week to immediately evacuate the island camps. The EU Commission asked Greece to take at least particularly vulnerable people, such as the elderly, the sick and families with children, from the overcrowded camps and to place them elsewhere on the islands.

The aid organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which tries to provide at least minimal medical care, especially for children, in the camps on Chios, Samos and Lesbos, demands a complete eviction: “The horrific living conditions are in the crowded hotspots on the islands an ideal breeding ground for Covid-19, ”says the MSF call.

The government has so far refused to close the camps and move migrants to the mainland. The reason: The virus is already rampant on the mainland. On the other hand, migrants are safer on the islands, as there have been almost no proven infections there, except for two cases on Lesbos, outside the camp.

Another reason why the government is hesitant to evacuate: Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis faces a problem that can hardly be solved. He doesn’t know what to do with the more than 40,000 migrants on the islands.

Because the 28 migrant camps on the mainland have long been overcrowded. The planned construction of new warehouses mostly meets with strong resistance from the population and local politicians in the affected communities.

Refugees Greece

Refugee women from the Moria migrant camp in Greece sew respirators.

(Photo: AFP)

There have also been local protests in the past against the accommodation of migrants in hotels and pensions that are now empty. The fear of the epidemic is likely to further fuel the resentment against migrants that is felt in many places.

The government in Athens has been calling for redistribution of asylum seekers to other EU countries for years – to no avail. In view of the corona epidemic, there is probably even less to think about than now.

After all, there is a small ray of hope: the reluctant transfer of 1,600 unaccompanied minors from the camps for weeks could finally get going, despite Corona. EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson hopes the move can begin next week.

Seven EU countries have agreed to accept the minors, including Germany. A total of around 5500 unaccompanied migrants under the age of 18 live in Greece. According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, around 2,000 of these are on the islands.

Regardless of the corona crisis, the federal government is in favor of quickly receiving minors from the refugee camps on the Greek islands. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer stand by his promise, said ministry spokesman Steve Alter on Friday in Berlin.

Looking at the organization of the EU Commission, he said: “According to our knowledge, there is movement in there.” He could not say exactly when it will happen, but “we also see progress”.

Whether Germany will eventually accept 250 or 400 minors is still as unanswered as the question of when they will leave Greece. “The Federal Government is in intensive exchange with the European partners to ensure prompt takeovers from the Greek islands,” said the Interior Ministry.

More: Greeks flee to the islands for fear of the virus: More and more Greeks are taking refuge on one of the islands. But the townspeople are not welcome there.

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