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Merkel says Germany, France to take in migrant children affected by Lesbos fire

CA, 11 Sep 2020
Germany and France will take in minors without shelter after fires razed their camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

Speaking at an event in Berlin, Merkel said she had offered Germany's help to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and that she was also in contact with France.

Merkel reiterated earlier remarks that migration was not just the problem of the countries where migrants arrive, adding "and it's not just Germany's problem."

She said a European migration policy "in fact does not exist" and warned that if nothing changes, the issue would become "a heavy burden for Europe."

There are deep rifts among the 27 EU countries over how to care for refugees and migrants.

Under the EU's now-defunct rules, the southern states of arrival like Italy, Malta or Greece are responsible but they were quickly overwhelmed at the height of the sea arrivals season.

Countries opposed to immigration, such as Poland and Hungary, as well as Austria, however, refuse to help by hosting some of those people.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered in two German cities in support of the thousands of migrants who were left homeless overnight when their overcrowded camp on the Greek island of Lesbos caught fire.

"Get them here" and "we have room" were the mottos of the spontaneously organized demonstrations, which drew an estimated 2,000 in Berlin and hundreds more in Germany's financial capital Frankfurt.

Greek authorities said they were investigating arson at the sprawling camp.


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