Berlin chair protest backs calls for Greek camp evacuation

Berlin chair protest backs calls for Greek camp evacuation

Activists set up thousands of chairs outside the German parliament in Berlin on Monday to underline their calls to take in migrants from an overcrowded camp on the Greek island of Lesvos.

The 13,000 chairs set up in front of the Reichstag building were meant to symbolize the inhabitants of the Moria camp, as well the readiness of some German cities and states to take migrants in.

Sea-rescue activist groups that backed Monday’s action said the first confirmed coronavirus case at Moria adds urgency to long-standing calls for the camp’s evacuation.

Greek authorities last week imposed a 14-day quarantine on Moria after one man who had been living in a tent outside the camp fence tested positive for the virus. As of August 31, the Moria camp housed 12,714 people, several times its capacity of 2,757.

Germany’s federal government has agreed to take in a total of 243 children from camps in Greece who need medical treatment, as well their closest relatives. So far, 99 of the children have arrived. It also has taken in 53 unaccompanied children evacuated from the camps. [Reuters]