The leaders of 10 towns and cities across Germany have written to Chancellor Angela Merkel, of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) andl Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, of the CDU's Bavarian sister party the CSU, saying they want to take in refugees from the destroyed Greek camp.
The letter was signed by the mayors of Bielefeld, Düsseldorf, Freiburg, Gießen, Göttingen, Hanover, Cologne, Krefeld, Oldenburg and Potsdam, with the leaders pledging to “make a humanitarian contribution to humane accommodation for those seeking protection in Europe”.
“We are ready to take in people from Moria in order to defuse the humanitarian catastrophe,” the letter stated.
So far, the Interior Ministry has refused to take in refugees in Germany alone, calling instead for European cooperation.
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Armin Laschet (CDU), the state premier of Germany’s most populous state, North-Rhine Westphalia, has also promised support.
Laschet said NRW would take in 1,000 refugees from the camp, while calling for aid to be provided.
“We now need both: a quick emergency aid for Moria and sustainable, European help with the admission of children and families”, Laschet told Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper.
Merkel has said Germany, along with France and eight other EU member states, will take in approximately 400 minors from the camp.
Germany and France have promised to take in the bulk of the minors, with AFP reporting that each country will bring in between 100 and 150 people.
Merkel asked Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis “how can Germany help?” after the disaster.
Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have said they will chair a meeting of EU-Mediterranean countries on the French island of Corsica to discuss how to bring in the refugees.
An estimated 13,000 refugees have been homeless on the island for days after several fires broke out in the Moria camp, which international media has described as “overcrowded”. The camp was Europe’s largest.