Friday 07 August 2020

New appeal to Dutch to take in child refugees from Greek camps

Refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos. Photo Joris van Gennip via HH

Over 100 politicians, celebrities and local authorities have urged the Dutch government to take in some of the 2,500 children who are living in squalid refugee camps on Greek islands without parents or guardians.

They have signed a page-sized advert in the NRC and NRC Next newspapers calling on the government to take urgent action. Greece called for help last October.

‘The minister repeatedly says that Greece holds the solution but this is unacceptable,’ the statement said. ‘The Netherlands should show solidarity with Greece and countries such as Luxemburg and Germany and take in a share of these children.’

Refusal

The Netherlands has refused to take in any of the children, despite repeated appeals, and the willingness of 43 separate local authorities to house them.

‘Greece is asking the countries of Europe for help, and rightly so,’ said former D66 leader Jan Terlouw. ‘We are one of the weathiest, richest, best organised countries in Europe. And this is why we are asking the government to take these children in.’

Rhenen, Harderwijk and Midden-Groningen are among the councils which have joined Leiden, Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Rotterdam in calling for action.

A number of EU countries, including Germany, Portugal, Lithuania and Bulgaria and have already agreed to take in 1,600 children.

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