Migrants left homeless by the fire at the Moria camp on Lesbos on September 14, 2020 | Photo: Mehdi Chebil for InfoMigrants
Migrants left homeless by the fire at the Moria camp on Lesbos on September 14, 2020 | Photo: Mehdi Chebil for InfoMigrants

Belgium has offered to accept 100 to 150 asylum seekers from Greece, in particular families with small children. More than 12,000 people were left homeless by the fires at the Moria refugee camp.

Belgium said on Wednesday it plans to take in 100 to 150 asylum seekers who have been left homeless after fires destroyed the Moria camp on Lesbos.

The announcement, reported by the Belgian news agency Belga, was made by the Belgian health minister, Maggie De Block, and her Greek counterpart, Giorgos Koumoutsakos.

Prior to this agreement Belgium had already pledged to take in 12 unaccompanied minors. Another 18 minors have arrived during the summer, reports said. The 100-150 asylum seekers will be in addition to the 30 migrants Belgium agreed to take in, according to the ministers.

The up to 150 asylum seekers will be families with small children, mothers and women traveling alone, German news agency dpa reports.

Moria residents to stay on Lesbos

Greece wants to keep all former residents of the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos. On Thursday hundreds of migrants were moved by police to a temporary camp erected at a former military shooting range which can house up to 5,000 people. 

Greek officials have repeatedly warned about the so-called "Moria tactic," according to which fires could be set on purpose as a way for the camp residents to be brought to the Greek mainland or to wealthy northern European countries. This is why the government insists on keeping the migrants on Lesbos.

The government in Athens is also concerned that moving migrants to the mainland will trigger more migrant departures from the Turkish coast to the Aegean islands. German news agency dpa further reports that most people at the former Moria camp were either rejected asylum seekers or were still waiting for a decision on their asylum claim.

Germany on Tuesday announced it would take in 1,553 people from Greece in addition to the up to 150 unaccompanied minors it agreed to accept immediately after the fires hit Moria. The 1,553 people are 408 families with children that have successfully filed for asylum, according to statements by a German government spokesman. He added that the German government was working towards "a far-reaching European solution with receptive member states" to seek to redistribute more people.


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