The German Association of Cities has called on the federal government to make a “bold decision” to accept refugees from Moria. Friedrich Merz meanwhile criticizes the demands for a European solution.
Discussions are underway in the federal government about the admission of more refugees from the Moria refugee camp that was destroyed by fire. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wants a decision from the cabinet meeting on Wednesday. The federal government continues to strive for a European solution. The subject should also play an important role in parliamentary group meetings in the Bundestag on Tuesday. The Berlin Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) of the Interior wants to know more about the situation in the Greek refugee camps in Athens on Tuesday.
City council president Burkhard Jung told the German news agency: “Many German cities are ready to take in people from Moria immediately. This is an acute emergency. Therefore, we should not hesitate.”
The candidate for the CDU presidency, Friedrich Merz, is extremely skeptical about the search for a European solution for the distribution of refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos. “If I see correctly, Greece has not yet asked for refugees from Lesvos to be admitted to the European Union and distributed among individual countries,” said Merz.
Photos from 2015 are still remembered
“Apart from Luxembourg and Germany, no other EU Member State is willing to do this in any case. It makes no sense to look further for a ‘European solution’ for distribution, nor to enter a competition in Germany to determine how much migrants we take in. ”, continues Merz.
The photos from 2015 are still in memory and so is the phrase “that this situation should not repeat itself”, said the former Union political group leader, who was the first to take a position on the subject.
Merz further argued that he saw “two ways to solve the problem: First, we are helping the Greeks with all the means we have to receive the refugees there in a humane way. For this we have well trained and equipped aid organizations with the Red Cross and the Technical Assistance Organization. “In addition, Greece should” approach the option already discussed in the European Parliament of using decommissioned cruise ships for temporary accommodation at the EU’s external borders. are used to carry out asylum procedures. “
“We can’t wait for the result”
SPD city council president Jung said: “Germany must send out a signal of emergency aid, a symbol of humanity. However, the debate on the fair distribution of refugees within the EU must continue. But we cannot wait for the outcome. . and only then help the homeless families out of the destroyed camp. The people of Moria need our help now. “
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) announced on Friday that Germany would take in 100 to 150 young people out of a total of 400 unaccompanied minors who will be transferred from Greece to other European countries. In a second step, they also want to talk to Athens about accepting families with children. The SPD is calling for a national initiative to take in significantly more migrants from the burned camp Moria than planned.
Kühnert exerts pressure
SPD Deputy Chief and Juso Chairman Kevin Kühnert even called on Seehofer to resign if he did not change his position on the issue of taking refugees from Moria. Kühnert told the “Rheinische Post” that the SPD “had now given the Union 48 hours” to “finally think and come up with practical proposals to end the misery”. He demanded from Seehofer that he finally give up his blockade and allow the help of those who wanted and could help.
Despite the difficult situation on Lesvos, Greece does not want to take the migrants to the mainland or even send them to Germany in groups – at least not without a positive asylum decision. There is a fear of sending the wrong signal that could lead migrants to burn in other camps.
Lower Saxony can accommodate up to 500 people
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is calling on Germany and the EU to act quickly. The current conditions on Lesvos are “a humanitarian emergency that requires swift and immediate action from the European states together with Greece,” said UN organization representative in Germany Frank Remus in Funke media group newspapers (Tuesday) . A pan-European solution is “possible according to all experts”.
According to Interior Minister Boris Pistorius, Lower Saxony was able to take up to 500 people “relatively quickly”. He had this checked, the SPD politician told the editorial network Germany (RND / Tuesday), referring to the capabilities of the state’s first reception facilities.
The Berlin Senator for the Interior meets the head of the UN refugee agency in Greece
Daniel Caspary, the head of the CDU / CSU group in the European Parliament, has since defended Seehofer against criticism. “In Greece, there are more than the 12,000 refugees we are talking about now. It is therefore important that we find a solution that not only relates to the people of Moria, but is also comprehensive,” he told the “Mannheimer Morgen” . (Tuesday).
Berlin’s interior senator Geisel scheduled meetings on Tuesday with the head of the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Greece, the German ambassador and the head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It is not yet certain whether there will be a meeting with the Greek minister of migration, Notis Mitarakis. One of the goals of the trip is to discover on the spot how to accept refugees from Greece through an admissions program from the state of Berlin, a Geisels spokesperson said.