Dutch offer to take 100 Moria fire migrants: government
The Netherlands has offered to take in 100 migrants, half of them minors, who were left homeless after a huge fire at the biggest asylum seeker camp in Greece, the Dutch government said Thursday.
The Dutch response to the “terrible events” at the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos came as France and Germany announced an EU-wide plan to take in 400 minors.
“The Dutch cabinet is open to a Greek request to take over a number of minors and families after the terrible events in the Greek reception camp Moria,” deputy justice and security minister Ankie Broekers-Knol said in a statement.
The Netherlands will take in “50 minor unaccompanied foreign nationals and 50 people in a family relationship with minor children who were affected by the fires on Lesbos.”
“Anyone who sees this thinks this is terrible. And in this exceptional situation, according to the government — and myself too — exceptional steps are needed,” said Broekers-Knol.
The move by Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s ruling coalition is however likely to add fuel to a long debate on immigration ahead of elections next year in which far-right parties are hoping to make gains.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had earlier announced a Franco-German plan to take in minors from Moria, saying she hoped other EU countries would join in.
A source close to the talks told AFP earlier that Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron had agreed on an initiative for EU member states to take in around 400 minors.