Germany takes in more asylum-seekers

Situation on the Greek islands Germany takes in more asylum-seekers

The German government has decided to take in more asylum-seekers and individuals entitled to protection from the Greek islands. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer described this as an "acceptable solution". Germany will also be seeking a further-reaching European solution. 

Germany is to take in more asylum-seekers from the Greek islands.

Germany is to take in more asylum-seekers from the Greek islands.

Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP via Getty Images

Germany will take in a total of 408 families consisting of 1,553 people, who are already recognised in Greece as being entitled to protection. This, said the minister, is "a proportionate political response".

"On the five Greek islands, there are 408 families who have already gone through the asylum procedure and have been recognised as entitled to asylum," explained Stephan Mayer, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Together these families number precisely 1,553 people. This group can thus be clearly distinguished from those whose request for asylum have already been rejected. "We see this as an appropriate criterion," said Stephan Mayer.

Equally, Germany will take in up to 150 unaccompanied minor asylum-seekers. This decision was taken last week and is part of a joint initiative with France and other EU states.

Individuals already taken in

This year, the German government has already taken in 574 individuals: 178 unaccompanied children, or children in need of treatment with their core families. This takes the total number of people from the Greek islands who Germany will take in to about 2,750.

Working for a further-reaching European solution

In spite of a wide spectrum of efforts, no changes can be seen on the part of any EU member state. "In this situation, you can either decide to do nothing, or you can adopt an acceptable solution that ensures that we do not see a repeat of 2015," said Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, commenting on the decision.

In addition to these 2,750 people, Germany is still working for a further-reaching European solution with other member states that are also willing to take in asylum-seekers. In the context of a European solution of this sort, Germany would be involved on a proportionate scale in line with the size of the country.

The European Commission is soon to present a proposal for a common EU asylum and migration compact. Within the scope of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, managing migration and dealing with refugees are central issues for the future, and Europe must find convincing responses.

German assistance on the way

For many months the German government has been making intensive efforts to assist Greek authorities and the Greek government. Germany has also helped provide essential supplies on the ground. The Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) has already transported a first batch of tents, sleeping bags, camp beds and camping mats to Greece. Two more deliveries are en route.