Brandenburg's Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) speaks at a press conference. © Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa/Archivbild
Fears of massive consequences due to the energy crisis were great last year. Now Brandenburg's state government and the social associations are taking stock and are largely in agreement.
Potsdam - Brandenburg's Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) has drawn a positive balance of support in the energy crisis and wants to examine further possible aid in the social sector. The aim was to dampen the effects of energy prices and not to let structures break, Woidke said on Thursday in Potsdam after the government's second social summit with associations. "That's what we've achieved." However, many people in Brandenburg continue to suffer from high energy prices and "too high inflation", especially for basic foodstuffs. The social associations drew a positive balance, but consider further aid to be necessary.
In the so-called Brandenburg Package, the state has launched aid of up to two billion euros by the end of 2024 as a supplement to federal aid. According to the government, measures amounting to 1 million euros have been approved by 814 June. The evaluation is underway in which areas such support is still needed, for example in the food banks, said Woidke. The question was whether aid had made sense and whether the budget funds allowed for further support. The relief so far includes emergency energy aid for private households, emergency aid for food banks, aid for energy-saving investments in hospitals and more advice. The social associations had demanded concrete help.
"This is an extraordinary act of solidarity, it must be said, when a state takes in two billion (euros)," said the spokesman for the Brandenburg State Poverty Conference, Andreas Kaczynski. "I believe we still need this solidarity." The food banks should be further promoted. Social Affairs Minister Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens) said the good news was: "We haven't actually left any gaps."
The chairman of the League of Free Welfare in Brandenburg, Hubertus Diemer, also sees success with the state's aid. It now depends on the implementation, said Diemer. He believes that more efforts are needed to integrate refugees into the labour market. "In the future, we must be more successful in integrating people with a refugee background into the labour market."
The social association Berlin-Brandenburg demanded that the Berlin 9-euro social ticket also be offered in Brandenburg. Chairwoman Ursula Engelen-Kefer said that the expansion of public transport in the state of Brandenburg was a particular problem. Dpa