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German Interior Minister blocks states from taking refugees from Greek camps

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has blocked individual German states from rescuing refugees from Greek refugee camps. The state governments are up in arms and are considering legal action.

Several of Germany’s 16 states are considering banding together to defy the federal government’s plan to block them from bringing in refugees from the chronically overcrowded camps in Greece.

Angela Merkel’s administration has blocked two German states — Berlin and Thuringia — from unilaterally flying a few hundred refugees out of the hopelessly overcrowded camps on the Greek islands.

The two states are considering challenging the block in court, but given the humanitarian conditions at the Moria camp on Lesbos, they are also seeking political options to accelerate the process.

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

Berlin’s Interior Minister Andreas Geisel this week 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.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who once called immigration the “mother of all problems”,  wants a unified EU-wide approach to migration [ full article deutsche welle]

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