The government is bringing Greek families with children after a major fire

Fire burns container houses and tents in the Moria refugee camp on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece, on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. A fire swept through Greece's largest refugee camp that had been placed under COVID-19 lockdown, leaving more than 12,000 migrants in emergency need of shelter on the island of Lesbos. (AP Photo/Panagiotis Balaskas)

The government is starting to bring families with children, out of Greece, after the fire in the Moria camp. 50 asylum seekers must be picked up, confirms Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H).

“We are starting now”, says Solberg.

“We clarified it this morning after we saw the pictures”, she continues.

On Wednesday night, the asylum camp Moria on the island of Lesvos was on fire. Several thousand have been evacuated from the camp, which was quarantined due to COVID-19.

According to the Prime Minister, it has long been clear how many asylum seekers Norway will bring out from Greece.

“The instructions for this have been ready to be sent as we saw the movement in other countries”, says Solberg.

Following negotiations in May, the governing parties Conservatives, Liberals and Christian Democrats agreed that Norway should bring asylum seekers from Greece, provided that 8-10 other countries do the same. So far, seven other countries have taken over.

Chaotic situation

The Prime Minister says the government wants to get started now, despite the fact that the minimum requirement has not been met.

“We have stated that now we should start, due to the current situation, even though we lack the last country for the minimum threshold we set”, says Solberg.

“In the situation and the chaos that is now, it’s better that we just get started”, she adds.

– Vi har sagt at nå bør vi sette i gang, på grunn av den situasjonen som er nå, selv om vi mangler det siste landet for minsteterskelen vi satte, sier Solberg.

– I den situasjonen og det kaoset som er nå, så er det greit at vi bare kommer i gang, legger hun til.

Bring out families from the Moria camp

Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø (V) tells NTB that the government has long been clear that Norway should take responsibility for the Moria refugees as part of a common European responsibility.

“We are now implementing the government’s decision to retrieve vulnerable families with children from the Moria camp. Given the dramatic situation that has now arisen, it is even more urgent that Norway takes its share of responsibility for remedying the situation”, says Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø (V) to NTB.

Will be corona tested

Last week, Minister for Children and Families, Kjell Ingolf Ropstad (KrF), went out to VG where he said that the government was soon ready to bring children from the Moria camp to Norway.

“Today we can say that the work with Norway to pick up children from Moria has started”, says Ropstad.

He adds that all asylum seekers who are allowed to come to Norway will be tested for COVID-19.

“There is plenty of space at Råde, they will be tested before they travel, and will go straight into quarantine and be handled at the reception center at Råde”, says Ropstad.  

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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