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Germany among EU members to take in refugee children

Germany will be among 7 EU countries to take in 1600 refugee children, the EU’s Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson confirmed.

The migrants are comprised of children and teenagers. Johansson told reporters in Athens that it would be a good start to increasing solidarity with Greece.

The opportunity will be available for one month and could end up being accepted by roughly 5,000 refugees. The offer is only available to people who arrived after January 1, 2020. 

Refugees who arrived during a two-week period enabled by Turkey, which said on February 28 that it would stop preventing people from trying to reach the European Union, will not be eligible.

The EU has also offered migrants on the Greek islands money for a voluntary return to their home country. Some 5,000 refugees, currently housed in overflowing camps are said to be legible and could take up the €2,000 offer.

Thousands of refugees and migrants have crossed the Greek border from Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan allowed them to leave, saying the country could not cope because it already hosts about four million of them.

Seven EU member states have agreed to accept at least 1,600 refugee children from overcrowded camps on the Greek islands. The European Commission, Greece and the UN migration body (IOM) will launch a one-month voluntary returns initiative.

Migrants in the camps on the Greek islands that choose to return to their country of origin will be offered an extra €2,000 ($2,250) “to help to reintegrate,” the EU top official said.

“Refugees will not return — of course, they can’t return — but economic migrants that maybe know they will not get a positive asylum decision could be interested in doing that,”  Johansson told reporters.