Campaigners on Monday placed 13,000 chairs outside the German parliament building in Berlin, in a symbolic protest calling for the overcrowded migrant camps in Greek islands to be shut down.
Each chair represented one of the people stuck in terrible conditions in the Moria camp on Lesvos island, said the organising groups Seebruecke, Sea-Watch, Campact and LeaveNoOneBehind.
The chairs also recalled that German communes and states, with Berlin at the head, have said they are ready to take responsibility for migrants languishing in the insalubrious camps on several Greek islands.
“The Bundestag was on holiday this summer, the humanitarian catastrophe at the EU [European Union] external borders was not,” the groups said in a statement.
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.