Friedrich Merz, head of Germany's largest opposition party, the Christian Democratic Union, called it "social tourism."
He said this on Bild TV, RND reports.
"We are now observing social tourism on the part of these refugees: to Germany, back to Ukraine, to Germany, back to Ukraine," Mertz said.
Mertz noted that initially refugees from Ukraine had the right to receive assistance in accordance with the Law on Assistance to Asylum Seekers, and since June they also began to receive basic unemployment benefits.
The oppositionist also expressed fears about the influx of Russians who avoid mobilization and spoke "categorically against" such steps.
With his statements, Mertz caused a wave of indignation among German politicians.
"Talks about social tourism destroy the social cohesion that we had until now, when we supported Ukraine and accepted refugees," accused SPD politician and head of the foreign affairs committee Michael Roth.
The former ambassador of Ukraine Andrii Melnyk was stunned by the statements of the German oppositionist.
"Where does this cheap populism come from? Where does this delusion about the alleged "social tourism" of Ukrainian refugees come from?" he asked.
According to the former ambassador, people have the right to visit their homeland at any time.
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