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Scotland Curtails Ukrainian Refugee Support as Europe Faces Economic Hardship

Ukrainian refugees sign in to attend a job fair in the Brooklyn borough of New York on February 01, 2023

People throughout the continent are calling for a renewed focus on domestic issues after nearly two years of support for Ukraine’s failing military effort in the Donbass.The UK became the latest European country to scale back support for Ukrainian migrants when the Scottish government refused to grant funds to local authorities to cover housing costs this week.The move was revealed Friday in Scottish media. Local authorities were reportedly seeking £10 million ($12.7 million) in order to continue providing temporary accommodation to Ukrainians seeking refuge in the country. The UK is one of a number of European countries that have taken in Ukrainians since the escalation of conflict in the eastern Donbass region in 2022.But Scotland’s national government balked at the request after previously having questioned the viability of the country’s support programs.“Our welcome accommodation ensures that we can offer everyone who needs it an initial safe place to stay,” said Scottish social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville last month. “However, we do not want people to spend longer than necessary without a settled place to call home.”MultimediaTop 15 Countries Hosting Ukrainian Refugees14 April 2023, 18:04 GMTLike neighboring Ireland, the United Kingdom faces a significant shortage of housing. It’s been estimated the UK needs 4.3 million new homes to reach the standard of other European countries. The shortage may take half a century to resolve, according to the Center for Cities think tank.The British Red Cross released a study recently claiming many Ukrainians living in the UK could be left without homes as winter wears on. “We expect thousands of men, women, and children from Ukraine to become homeless here in the UK,” said spokesperson Olivia Field.Many analysts believe Europe is headed towards deepening economic difficulties as Western sanctions against Russia have backfired spectacularly. Energy costs have skyrocketed throughout the continent – especially in Germany, which previously relied heavily on Russian natural gas. The European Union’s historical manufacturing powerhouse has faced deindustrialization as a consequence.Rising energy costs have increased the price of goods in general, leading to a decline in consumer spending. Meanwhile high interest rates intended to tame inflation have caused a contraction of credit. The eurozone’s economic growth recently shrunk to just 0.1 percent.In light of the poor economic outlook, political populists in Europe are likely to call for an increased focus on domestic issues – a common refrain in the UK since citizens voted to leave the EU in 2016.WorldUkrainian Population Down by 4Mln to 19Mln in 2 Months – Ex-Prime Minister20 November 2023, 13:57 GMT

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