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Merkel stops Germany from taking refugees from Greece

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, which took in some 1.3 million refugees and migrants before closing the door on them, is prohibiting several of the country’s 16 states from accepting more from Greece.

The states have offered to help relieve overcrowding in detention centers and camps on five Greek islands holding more than 34,000 people, virtually all wanting asylum after the European Union shut its borders to them.

The states of Berlin and Thuringia want to fly in several hundred refugees and migrants from Greece and Germany’s state broadcaster Deutsche Welle said they are considering going to court to prevent Merkel from barring them.

Other states, including the most populous, North Rhine-Westphalia, have also said they would be prepared to take in refugees from the camps, the news site also added.

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Berlin’s Interior Minister Andreas Geisel called for a conference where state interior ministers can speak to Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to resolve the issue.

“We cannot simply shrug our shoulders and accept a ‘No’ from Horst Seehofer to our readiness to help people in desperate circumstances,” he said, according to the report.

The emphasis was on the notorious and overcrowded Moria camp on Lesbos that is holding more than 18,000 people in a facility designed for one-sixth that number and human rights groups calling conditions there inhumane.

Several other EU countries have also reneged on pledges to help take in some of the masses while the EU’s current and former migration chiefs, both from Greece’s ruling New Democracy, have done almost nothing to help.