26 more refugee families have arrived in Germany from Greece. A plane carrying 101 refugees touched down Friday in the city of Hanover.
A plane carrying 101 refugees from the Greek islands landed in the German city of Hanover on Friday. The group included 61 children and 40 adults, all of whom have already received protection status in Greece.
These refugees are the first to arrive of 1,553 additional refugees the German government agreed to take in from Greece after Moria camp on Lesbos island was destroyed by fire.
Boris Pistorius, the interior minister of Lower Saxony (the state where Hanover is located), welcomed the refugees. "The conditions on the Greek islands are still precarious, and the colder seasonal weather makes life there even more difficult," he said.
The German interior ministry said the refugees would go to the Friedland transit facility before being transferred to seven different German states. Three Palestinian families were to remain in Lower Saxony, the ministry said.
Horst Seehofer, Germany's interior minister, also said in September that Germany would take in up to 150 unaccompanied minors from the burnt-out Moria camp.
On September 30, the first group of 51 unaccompanied children arrived at Hanover airport together with 17 sick refugee children and their families. In total, 139 migrants arrived that day.
EU states criticized
Lower Saxony's interior minister Pistorius Friday criticized the unwillingness of other EU countries to take in refugees as "shameful."
Frank Remus, UNHCR representative in Germany, also called for a pan-European solution. He said that for those who landed in Hanover Friday, their arrival in Germany gave them new opportunities in life.
"After they have fled persecution and human rights violations in their home country and have suffered unacceptable living conditions in Greece, they can come to rest and hopefully overcome their trauma," Remus told the German news agency, dpa.