Germany agrees to take in 50 young migrants from Greek islands

Germany agrees to take in 50 young migrants from Greek islands
epa08268824 Asylum seekers, who have disembarked in the last four days on Lesvos Island, wait in line in a guarded spot of the port of Mytilene, to receive food, Lesvos island, Greece, 04 March 2020. The newly arrived asylum seekers will be transported not to the refugee camp of Moria but to a closed type refugee camp in mainland Greece. EPA-EFE/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

BERLIN, April 8 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to accept 50 migrant children and youths from overcrowded camps on Greek islands, government sources said.

The move was a first step by Germany, officials said, as worries mount about the health situation in the Greek camps due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tens of thousands of migrants tried to get into European Union member Greece after Turkey said in February it would no longer prevent them from doing so, as agreed in a 2016 deal with the EU in return for aid for Syrian refugees.

Greece has described conditions in the camps on some of its islands, where more than 40,000 asylum seekers are now stuck during the coronavirus crisis, as a “ticking health bomb”.

Germany’s interior ministry said on Tuesday it aimed to begin the transfer of unaccompanied minors next week from Greece, which has been the main gateway into the EU for people fleeing conflict in the Middle East and beyond.

On arrival in Germany, the young people will be placed in quarantine for two weeks before they are divided up across Germany, the ministry said, adding that other EU states had agreed to similar measures.

While the rush to the border in March met a strong response from Greek security forces, tensions have largely settled since the outbreak of the new coronavirus prompted Turkey to close its borders with Greece and Bulgaria.

Greece is urging the EU to help during the coronavirus crisis and has said it is ready to protect its islands, where no cases have so far been recorded.

Athens quarantined a migrant camp on the mainland after 23 asylum seekers tested positive for the coronavirus. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Holger Hansen; Editing by Alexander Smith)


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

Daily Maverick The Gathering 2024 banner

Daily Maverick has secured an esteemed speaker line-up...

to help make sense of Elections 2024.

Trevor Manuel, Prof Thuli Madonsela and Minister Ronald Lamola are among the latest panellists confirmed for Daily Maverick The Gathering Twenty Twenty-Four.

Join us, on Thurs 14 March 2024 at CTICC Cape Town or online wherever you are, for an event that will put the election in perspective.

Make your taxes work for you

Donate to Daily Maverick’s non-profit arm, the Scorpio Investigative Unit, by 29 February 2024 and you’ll qualify for a tax break.

We issue Section 18A tax certificates for all donations made to Daily Maverick. These can be presented to SARS for tax relief.

Make your donation today

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Otsile Nkadimeng - photo by Thom Pierce

A new community Actionist every week.

Meet the South Africans making a difference. Get Maverick Citizen in your inbox.