Germany, Luxembourg will bring migrant children from Greece | Instant News

BERLIN – Germany plans to accommodate up to 50 unaccompanied minors who live in overcrowded refugee camps in Greece, while Luxembourg has agreed to accept 12, government officials said Tuesday.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer will propose to the Cabinet on Wednesday a plan to bring children to Germany and recommend that “transfers should begin next week, if possible,” a statement from his ministry said.

A dozen children are expected to be moved from Greek camps to Luxembourg in the coming days, said the Greek government, which expressed its thanks to the small European nation.

The relocation “is being achieved despite the difficult circumstances of a pandemic (coronavirus) and has created a positive example for other European partners,” Giorgos Koumoutsakos, an alternative minister to replace the Greek minister of migration and asylum, said.

More than 42,000 people currently live in overcrowded camps on the Greek islands, including around 5,500 unaccompanied minors. About 10% of them are under the age of 14, according to the Europol police station.

The European Union said on March 13 that a group of member states had agreed to take at least 1,600 children who reach Greece traveling without their parents. But the restrictions adopted by EU member states to slow the spread of the complicated corona virus to start implementing agreements.

Children who move to Germany will spend their first two weeks in quarantine and then be sent to various German states, the German Interior Ministry said.

Apart from Germany and Luxembourg, France, Portugal, Ireland, Finland, Croatia, Lithuania, Belgium and Bulgaria also said they were ready to accept children from Greek camps, the ministry said.

“Because of internal challenges” in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, “there are delays in some countries at this time,” the ministry statement said. “But Germany has clear hopes that these countries will stick to their commitments.”

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