Germany has agreed to take 1,553 additional refugees from five Greek islands after a fire destroyed an overcrowded camp.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), agreed on September 15 to take in 408 families in a gesture of solidarity with EU member Greece.
That’s on top of up to 150 unaccompanied migrant children that Germany has agreed to accept from the camps.
Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the refugees will be families with children whose asylum applications have already been accepted.
More than 12,000 people, mostly asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Africa, and Syria, were left homeless after a fire last week destroyed the notoriously crowded Moria migrant camp on the island of Lesbos.
Greek police said on September 15 that they have arrested five alleged arsonists who are accused of having set fire to the Moria camp. Police said the five are young Afghan nationals whose asylum applications were rejected.
The Greek islands have been affected by waves of migrants crossing from Turkey in hopes of reaching the EU.
The fire has brought renewed attention to the EU’s failure to implement a common asylum policy to distribute asylum seekers, many of whom lanquish in Greek camps.
With reporting by dpa and Tagesschau