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Friday, 21st June

Germany’s largest refugee centre is completely uninsured

Since October 2023, Germany's largest refugee arrival centre at Tegel airport has been without building, business or liability insurance coverage.

Photo: IMAGO / Emmanuele Contini

The old Tegel airport, now Germany’s largest refugee accommodation facility, currently lacks insurance coverage. The revelation was brought to light in a session of the Berlin Senate. Serving as the primary arrival centre for refugees and asylum seekers in Berlin, it is designed to accommodate 7,000 people and is currently occupied by over 4,500 refugees, according to Berlin’s State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF).

Since October 2023 the site has been without  building, business or liability insurance – meaning any damage to the premises would likely require the state and federal government to cover costs. The legal situation puts both the residents and the state budget at unacceptable risk, claimed Die Linke’s Elif Eralp.

There have already been several alarming incidents in the refugee accommodation. In March, a fire broke out on the former airport site in Tegel, and one of the lightweight halls used for accommodation there burned down completely. In April, another fire broke out in one of the sanitary facilities, damaging several toilet cubicles and the roof of the tent. Several aid organisations as well as the Berlin Green and Left factions have criticised the conditions in the large accommodation facility for refugees in Tegel and called for a plan for its closure.