The Moria migrant camp in Lesbos, ravaged by a huge fire on August 9, 2020. -
ANGELOS TZORTZINIS / AFP
After the huge fire in a refugee camp on the island of Lesbos (Greece), the EU will support the immediate transfer to mainland Greece of 400 children and adolescents, the European Commission announced on Wednesday.
“Making everyone in Moria safe and secure is a priority,” Internal Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson tweeted, adding that she was in contact with the Greek authorities.
The European Commission ready to intervene
A large-scale rescue operation was underway on Wednesday in this largest refugee camp in Greece, which is home to more than 12,000 migrants, ravaged by a huge fire.
"I have already given my agreement to finance the immediate transfer and accommodation to the continent of the 400 unaccompanied children and adolescents still remaining" on the spot, added Ylva Johansson.
The Greek Margaritis Schinas, vice-president of the European executive, also indicated on Twitter that he had assured Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis that the European Commission was ready to help his country.
A relocation program for 2,000 minors
The situation in the Moria camp illustrates the urgency of reforming migration policy in the EU, which has for years been stumbling over European divisions.
The European Commission is due to present at the end of the month its repeatedly rejected proposal for a "new Pact on migration and asylum".
The European executive has also been coordinating for several months a program for the relocation to ten EU countries of some 2,000 unaccompanied minors who have arrived in Greek refugee camps.
So far, only around 640 people (children, adolescents and families of sick children) have been relocated to seven countries (Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Finland).
Greece: Riots in Lesvos refugee camp after deadly fire
In Lesbos, where migrants flock, "we feel a lot of aggression and hostility", testifies an official of Caritas