Nazi victims cash used to fund Euro 2012
Ukraine has been accused of swiping money destined for the poorest members of its community including money pledged to victims of the Third Reich – and using it to build stadiums and other facilities for the Euro 2012.
The allegations were made by the respected German medical charity Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) that provides social and medical services in Germany and abroad. With just a month to go until the first ball is kicked in the tournament ABS said that Yulia Tymoshenko was not the only person that was suffering in Kharkiv, the city in which she is currently imprisoned. They said that for months now hundreds of people have been suffering as a result of a drastic reduction in the provision of social and medical services. ASB said that together with the Ukrainian Samariterbund they had been lobbying officials to take action and responsibility to assist the socially disadvantaged and the sick.
Speaking in Cologne in Germany Michael Schnatz who is the ABS project coordinator for central and East Europe said: "The Euro 2012 is a prestige project. But the Ukraine is totally overstretched in trying to finance it. The development and building of the key locations has 100 per cent been at the expense and provision of social services and that has meant the weakest and most sick members of society have suffered more."
In Kiev Svetlana Levkovska, managing director of the Ukrainian Samariterbund said: "I am really pleased that we have the Euro 2012 in our country. But at the same time we had completely different expectations: The creation of jobs, investment in infrastructure and hospitals. Instead of that we have had a massive shortfall in investment in social programs, and the building of five-star hotels which nobody here needs and also a massive increase in prices. Of course I want all the fans who are going to come to our country to feel good and to feel welcome and to experience a great football event – but it shouldn't be forgotten at whose cost the whole thing has been carried out."
The ASB pointed out that in Kharkiv there were over 100 former victims of the Third Reich that were being cared for through joint project with the Ukrainian Samariterbund and have been since 2008. But this vital care had now been cut down to the very basics because 75,000 Euros that was supposed to come from the regional government had simply not been transferred over.They have launched an appeal for funding to try and make up some of the shortfall from government sources.
ASB is a charity and first aid organisation that is independent and across Germany has more than 1 million members and 15,000 full-time staff. As well as its work with the emergency services and in disaster zones it also gets involved in care for the elderly, children and teenagers and helpful people who are disabled both at home and abroad.
An account for anyone who wants to support the ASB's efforts in the Ukraine has been set up:
IBAN: DE81 3701 0111 1241 1130 00
BIC (Swift-Code): ESSEDE5F370