Refugees and migrants on Lesbos | Photo: Getty Images/AFP/L.Gouliamaki
Refugees and migrants on Lesbos | Photo: Getty Images/AFP/L.Gouliamaki

Sources from Angela Merkel's government have said Germany will additional migrants from the Greek island of Lesbos. Over 12,000 people have been left homeless by fires at the refugee camp Moria.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer agreed that Germany would accept an additional 1,500 migrants currently being held on the Greek islands, news agency dpa reported Tuesday, following accusations that the German government had done too little following a devastating fire at a refugee camp there.

Seehofer proposed the plan and Merkel approved it, news agency Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The latest effort will focus on relocating families with children. Asylum petitions for some 400 families have already been granted, the sources said.

The decision to bring more migrants to Germany follows mounting public pressure for greater German action after a fire at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos left around 12,000 people without shelter last week.

In an initial response, Germany had said it would take in between 100 and 150 unaccompanied minors as part of a joint European initiative.

The newest plan will also include migrants being held in other parts of Greece, not just those coming from Lesbos and Moria, government sources said, adding that this was a key point for the Greek government.

Politicians from Germany's ruling coalition government had aimed to reach an agreement by Wednesday on how many people they would take in addition to the unaccompanied minors.

On Monday, the chancellor had emphasized that the agreement should address more than just the number of migrants Germany would accept. The deal should include a plan for establishing facilities to receive migrants and refugees on Lesbos, with Europe overseeing the financing and management.

kp/rc (dpa, Reuters)

First published: September 15, 2020

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