The state of Berlin has passed a decree to bring 300 vulnerable refugees from Greece to Germany. Separately, Germany's federal government has announced that an additional 243 refugee children from the Greek Islands would arrive at the end of June or the beginning of July.
The senate of the state government of Berlin on Tuesday passed a decree that proposes to relocate 300 refugees from the Greek Islands to Berlin by June 2021. The decree had been drafted by Berlin's state senator for interior affairs, Andreas Geisel, who is a member of the social democratic party SPD.
The Berlin daily Tagesspiegel on Monday cited from the draft plan, which reportedly was conceived due to "desolate humanitarian conditions" in Greek refugee camps such as Moria, which currently holds 17,000 people over capacity.
So far, only 47 refugee children have been brought to Germany as part of a pledge by several European nations to relocate up to 1,600 children. Of the 47 children, eight were accommodated in Berlin at the beginning of May -- all of them Afghan boys between 8-14 years old.
The coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions have stalled transfers and resettlement programs since early March.
The decree proposes to prioritize unaccompanied minors under the age of 16, pregnant women, single mothers with children under 12 years of age, and persons suffering discrimination due to their religious beliefs or their sexual orientation, news agency KNA reported.
Federal government to take in additional children
Meanwhile, Germany's federal government announced on Tuesday it would bring additional children from the Greek Islands to Germany. Ute Vogt, a member of the German Parliament and of the social democrats, said on Tuesday that a total number of 243 children would arrive at the end of June or the beginning of July.
The children in question were sick and would come with their families, Vogt said. It was still unclear, however, how they would be distributed.
Berlin's relocation scheme is the second state-run program so far; the state of Thuringia in central Germany plans to take in up to 500 people from the Greek Islands by the year 2022.
With material from KNA, AFP