Germany Agrees to Take Another 1,500 Refugees from Greece



Migrants and refugees take shelter at a cemetery following the fires at Moria camp in Lesvos. Credit: Thanasis Voulgarakis/Greek Reporter

Germany agreed on Tuesday to take in more than 1,500 refugees now living in Greece, on top of the 150 unaccompanied minors from the Moria camp which burned down earlier in the month on the island of Lesvos.

The German government will allow 1,553 people from 408 families who have already been officially recognized as refugees by Greece to settle in Germany, according to Steffen Seibert, spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Berlin had already agreed to take in approximately 1,200 other asylum seekers who have been housed in Greece — about 200 unaccompanied minors, and 243 children requiring medical treatment — along with their families.

“In total, Germany will take in about 2,750 people from the Greek islands,” Seibert said in a statement, after the Chancellor and her ministers reached agreement on the move.

The New York Times says that Germany’s move could increase pressure on other wealthy members of the European Union to act, and appeared to be an implicit rebuke over their failure to ease the strain on Greece.

Up to now, the EU response has been paltry. France has agreed to take in 150 minors from the camp while other EU nations are admitting a total of 100 other youngsters from Moria.

Slovakia, Hungary, France and Slovenia have offered tents, blankets, sleeping bags and mobile toilets, but as many social media users point out, the help is inadequate. “The help Greece needs is not tents, but the transfer of hundreds of refugees and migrants to other EU countries,” says an Italian citizen replying to the EU tweet below.