Bettler bittet um Spenden - Auf der Straße leben - Berlin, Deutschland, DEU, GER, 16.12.2020 - Berlin-Mitte: Obdachlosigkeit und Armut in der Hauptstadt. Immer mehr Menschen leben in Berlin ohne festen Wohnsitz auf der Straße. Schild eines Bettlers am Straßenrand mit der Bitte um eine Spende für Essen und Trinken. Hut gefüllt mit Spenden von vorübergehenden Passanten. *** Beggar asks for donations Living on the street Berlin, Germany, DEU, GER, 16 12 2020 Berlin Mitte Homelessness and poverty in the capital More and more people are living on the street in Berlin without a permanent home Sign of a beggar on the side of the street asking for a donation for food and drink Hat filled with donations from passing pedestrians

Times of crisis are sometimes also the time for deeper insights. Prominent representatives from voluntary welfare, trade unions, church, science and culture are therefore calling for solidarity with the weakest in society.

In an open call “For solidarity and cohesion now!” they call for more social cohesion. The war of aggression in Ukraine, the corona pandemic and disrupted supply chains worldwide have triggered price increases that people with low to average incomes can hardly cope with. For many, high inflation is a threat.

The undersigned call for relief for low-income households. The first signatories of the appeal emphasized that the solidarity of people who had large incomes and assets was particularly important.

“Strong shoulders can and must carry more – that is a central principle of our social market economy,” it says. “We are all now asked to make our personal contribution to social peace and cohesion in our democracy.”

The President of Diakonie Germany, Ulrich Lilie, pointed out that people with low incomes could not wait because of the price explosion. “Anyone who already has to spend almost two thirds of their income on rent, energy and groceries and has no significant reserves cannot escape inflation.”

Politicians must first focus on those who will be hit hardest by the price increases. Proposals for this are on the table, now it’s a matter of implementation.

Lilie is one of the first to sign, including Annette Kurschus, Chairwoman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Verdi boss Frank Werneke, Karl-Josef Laumann as Federal Chairman of the Christian Democratic Workers’ Union, Verena Bentele, President of the VdK social association, Michael Groß, President of Arbeiterwohlfahrt, Gerd Landsberg as general manager of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities and Olaf Zimmermann for the German Cultural Council.

On the other hand, negative signals came from the Catholics in Germany. While the chairman of the bishops’ conference, Georg Bätzing, reacted rather friendly with the sentence that he was “basically reluctant to sign appeals and petitions”, a critical answer came from the Caritas association.

Although not the president, but the deputy spokeswoman for the welfare association said that not only did they not see solidarity at risk, but “rather fear that such calls would lead to a greater division in society”. However, opinions in the governing bodies differ on this.