Germany wants to take in more refugees who are trapped on the Greek islands. Chancellor Merkel and Interior Minister Seehofer have agreed to bring 1,500 people to Germany. It would concern families with children and people who have already received asylum. They don’t just come from Lesvos.
The fires in the Moria migrant camp on Lesvos have left more than 12,000 people homeless. A number of them have been admitted to a hastily set up camp on the island, but not everyone can go there. There is room for 5000 people.
Minister Seehofer (CSU) initially argued for only some of the 400 unaccompanied minors from camp Moria to be admitted, 100 to 150. The rest would go to other European countries. Coalition partner SPD has yet to comment on this, but has previously called for more people to be included.
The German government is sending a delegation to Greece to see who has a chance of asylum. Germany fears a pull effect like in 2015, when hundreds of thousands of migrants entered Europe via the Greek islands. More than 1.2 million people were received in Germany.
Germany is once again taking the lead, says correspondent Wouter Zwart. “Of course there is extensive contact with other EU countries about this, but Germany is of course EU president and plays a pioneering role. 2015 also echoes. Merkel then said:” Wir schaffen das “, we can handle that, but that also has led to much social unrest.
It led to the rise of far-right movements and the government-critical AfD party. This time, the government wants to prevent other countries from sitting back and thinking that Germany will solve it. That is why the government now wants to find a kind of middle ground and they arrive at that 1500. “
There are about 30,000 refugees and migrants in the Greek islands. The Netherlands is also willing to include migrants, probably 50 children. The conditions are still being discussed with Greece.
Greece has said that only people in the new camp can claim asylum in other European countries. According to Immigration and Asylum Minister Mitarakis, the people who oppose placement in that camp are the same ones who started the fires in Moria.
No one is allowed to leave for the time being. “There is still a problem that the EU countries must first solve together,” says Zwart.
The AfD has already announced in an initial response that the admission of more refugees is one “fatal signal” is. It points out to migrants that they only need to set fire to their own tent if they want to go to Germany, says party chairman Alexander Gauland.