101 refugees transferred to Germany from Greek island camp

A plane has landed in Hanover carrying 101 vulnerable refugees from a camp on the Greek island of Lesbos to Germany, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

The group was made up of 40 adults and 61 children who have been identified as particularly at risk, the German ministry said in a statement.

The refugees are to be brought to Friedland transit camp before being transferred between Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bremen, Hesse, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine Westphalia and Saarland.

A group of 17 people, made up of three families of Palestinian origin, are to stay in Lower Saxony, the state’s Interior Ministry said.

Germany agreed to take in 1,553 refugees whose status has officially been recognized in early September, after a fire destroyed the Moria camp on Lesbos.

The 26 families of refugees who landed in Hanover are the first of this group to reach Germany, although they had not been living in Moria.

Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius welcomed the new arrivals, referring to the difficult conditions on the Greek islands. He said other EU countries’ reluctance to take in refugees was shameful.

Frank Remus, who represents the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Germany, also called for a European solution.

“After fleeing persecution and human rights violations in their home countries and leaving behind them the unacceptable living conditions in Greece, they can now find peace and hopefully overcome their traumatic experiences,” Remus told dpa.

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