Social Democrats ramp up pressure over Moria

German Social Democrats (SPD) threw down an ultimatum to their Christian Democrat (CDU/CSU) coalition partners yesterday (14 September) after Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) announced on Friday (11 September) that Germany will take between 100 and 150 unaccompanied minors from the now-destroyed Moria camp, adding that this would be a first step.

However, while the SPD wants an agreement to admit more refugees in the next 48 hours and the government is aiming to decide on Wednesday (16 September), many conservatives are still demanding a ‘European solution’.

SPD co-chair Saskia Esken said that Seehofer, who had previously refused to allow any more refugees into Germany and sought to block German states who wanted to accept more people, had announced a very small number.

After calling for a “high four-digit amount” in a TV interview on Sunday (13 September),Esken adapted her statement on Monday and suggested a  more vague “substantial contribution.”

While some in the CDU/CSU have called for the country to take in more refugees, many do not want Germany to ‘go it alone’ and instead focus on a ‘European solution.’

“We must not repeat the mistakes of 2015,” said EPP leader Manfred Weber when appearing on a popular German political talk show. This same sentiment has also  been echoed by Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU).

On their part, the Greens have also been calling for Germany to accept more refugees from Lesbos. Party co-chair Annalena Baerbock called for more German commitment to resettling refugees on the same programme with Weber, although she did not repeat an earlier tweet where she suggested that everyone from Moria could be resettled in Germany.

Meanwhile, a cross-party alliance of 169 MEPs have signed a letter calling for the urgent relocation of the homeless refugees and immigrants of Moria in the other 26 EU countries.

Also read: Greek government accuses migrants of ‘burning’ Moria camp

(Sarah Lawton |


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