“I’m so angry”: Migranten-Treck gives up in Guatemala

More than 3000 people had made their way from Honduras to the USA by midweek. But most of them give up in Guatemala. They had previously violently crossed the border. Mexico’s president, meanwhile, has his own theory about the migrants’ march.

After massive pressure, more than 2000 migrants from Honduras had to give up their plan to get to the USA in the middle of the Corona crisis. Most of the migrants stuck in Guatemala agreed to return to their homeland with the support of the local authorities. After being called up on the online networks, they made their way to the USA. Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador suspects the march to be related to the US presidential election campaign.

Around 3,000 people left the second largest Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on Wednesday evening and crossed the border into Guatemala on Thursday. The migrants broke through the ranks of Guatemalan border guards. In addition, they ignored the tests required on entry due to the corona pandemic. Many did not wear protective masks.

Later the train split into a larger and a smaller group to try to reach the Mexican border on different routes. Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei then ordered the arrest and deportation of the migrants, but at the same time called on them to voluntarily return. The Mexican government announced that hundreds of soldiers and immigration officials would be deployed to prevent the refugees from crossing the border.

Connection to the US election?

With little prospect of their plans being successful, most of the migrants gave up. Only a few smaller groups want to stick to their goal. Many of the failed expressed their frustration: “I’m so angry that I even came here,” Eduardo Rodríguez told the AFP news agency. Before he was stopped, he had already covered 250 kilometers and injured his foot in the process. “I was just wasting time and what little money I had”.

Mexico’s President López Obrador considered the time of the migrants’ march suspicious: “It is very strange that this convoy set off just before the US election,” he said on Friday. He does not know all the details, but there are indications that the action was “organized” to influence the US election on November 3rd. The issue of migration would play into the hands of incumbent Donald Trump in particular.

In the past few years, thousands of people from Central American countries had moved in large groups to Mexico in order to get to the United States. They fled poverty and violence in their countries of origin. Because US President Donald Trump threatened punitive measures if the neighboring country does not take stronger action against the migrants, Mexico has now sent around 26,000 soldiers to its borders. The issue of immigration also plays an important role in the current US election campaign.


Refugee policy in Italy: Trial against Salvini begins

Allegation: deprivation of liberty. Because he did not let 131 refugees ashore for days, Italy’s ex-interior minister has to answer in court.

Pleased with the loud support of his followers: Matteo Salvini Photo: Reuters

ROM taz | The trial against Matteo Salvini began on the first day of the preliminary hearing on Saturday. The head of the right-wing populist Lega has to answer in Catania for deprivation of liberty in 131 cases. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

During his time as Minister of the Interior, Salvini prevented a ship belonging to the Italian coast guard with 131 refugees from entering a port for several days in July 2019. For almost a week, people were forced to stay on the deck of the ship in the mid-summer heat.

Salvini’s approach in the then coalition of the Five Star Movement and Lega was part of his policy of “closed ports”: During his term of office from June 2018 to August 2019, he rigorously refused to dock NGO rescue ships in Italy – twice even for the Italian coast guard. It was about stopping the “invasion” of refugees and the machinations of the smugglers, he explained at the time.

The ex-interior minister brought various preliminary investigations. Because the government at the time was defending his immunity, he has so far got away. Since September 2019, however, the five-star movement has no longer governed with the Lega, but with the moderately left Partito Democratico. In the case now negotiated, the parties jointly voted in favor of lifting Salvini’s immunity.

Salvini’s successor should also take the stand

On Saturday lunchtime, the judge in charge announced that the preliminary hearing would continue on two additional dates in November and December. The public prosecutor’s office had previously taken the position that Salvini had merely performed his official duties and, together with the defense, had demanded that the proceedings be terminated.

For the next two hearing days, interrogations of the then Deputy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, five-star boss Luigi Di Maio and the then ministers for transport and defense are planned.

Luciana Lamorgese, Salvini’s successor in the Ministry of the Interior, is also supposed to take the stand. The judge apparently wants to examine the extent to which the “policy of the closed ports” was continued from the first to the second Conte government without Salvini’s influence. In the past few months, the Italian government has repeatedly refused to assign a port to ships with rescued persons on board.

Solidarity from the far right

Salvini should have been pleased with the solidarity of his supporters and right-wing alliance partners. Sympathizers demonstrated in front of the court with slogans such as “Bring us all to trial!” And “Stop the invasion!”.

Giorgia Meloni, head of the right-wing extremist “Fratelli d’Italia” (“Brothers of Italy”), traveled to Catania especially, as did Antonio Tajani from the Berlusconi party Forza Italia. The procedure was “monstrous”, Meloni found, and Italy threatened the establishment of a “regime”.

Salvini himself is of the opinion that the judges, only the voters, could decide on his actions. Furthermore, according to his line of defense, he did not act in isolation, but in agreement with the Prime Minister and the other cabinet members.


EU Commission proposes migration pact – politics

For years the EU has been fighting for a common asylum policy. The main point of contention has always been the question of whether member states can be obliged to accept migrants. The new migration pact, which the EU Commission will present this Wednesday, therefore no longer contains an automatic distribution mechanism, but instead a graduated system in order to be able to react to different situations with appropriate instruments.

According to SZ information, this system should distinguish between three different cases: acute crisis situations that endanger the national asylum system; increased pressure or the risk of such; or sea rescue cases, which concern the whereabouts of people rescued from distress in the Mediterranean.

In all of these cases, affected Member States could activate a solidarity mechanism. In Brussels it is said that the aim is to determine whether the Member States concerned are getting the right help through mediation by the EU Commission to deal with the situation.

Countries such as Hungary or Poland, which in the past always refused to accept people, should also be included in this system. There will be alternative ways for them to contribute the requested solidarity.

The EU Commission should only be able to insist on the distribution of migrants as a “corrective”, so it is said, as a “last resort”. A corresponding decision should be made as a legal act by the Commission, which can be reviewed by the EU Parliament and the Council of Member States.

According to the Commission’s proposal, a new screening procedure should be established as a preliminary stage at the EU’s external borders, which is intended to determine the likelihood that someone will actually be entitled to asylum; The recognition rate for people from different countries of origin should also play a role here.

EU Commission hopes for a joint approach at last

In contrast to the 2015 refugee crisis, the EU Commission estimates that two thirds of those arriving have to expect a negative asylum decision. According to the proposal, these border procedures should not necessarily take place directly at the border; instead, the EU states should be able to carry out such tests at other locations on their territory.

In addition, an orderly return system is expected to play a much bigger role in the Commission’s new proposals than it has been up to now. Member States should help each other by means of so-called “sponsorships” to organize returns to third countries – that too could be seen as an act of solidarity.

The Commission hopes that the proposals will finally enable the Member States to take action on asylum. “We cannot afford to fail twice for the same reasons,” it said.


Refugee distribution in the EU: Kurz calls for the fight against “illegal migration”

As a result of the inferno of flames on Lesbos, the EU is once again unable to agree on a uniform distribution of refugees. Austria’s Chancellor Kurz declares the issue a failure. Instead, he calls for better protection of the EU’s external borders.

The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described the distribution of refugees within the European Union as a failure. “So many states reject that. It won’t work either,” Kurz told the AFP news agency, shortly before the EU Commission in Brussels wants to present new proposals for the asylum reform that has been controversial for years.

The politician from the conservative ÖVP called for better protection of the EU’s external borders and a more effective fight against smugglers, “but also more joint help on the ground”.

He thinks it is “good if the European Commission dedicates itself to the subject of asylum and migration,” said Kurz. The issue can only be “solved across Europe”. However, Kurz rejected the use of terms such as “solidarity” in the migration debate. “Europe should have learned from 2015. And just fight illegal migration together,” said the Chancellor.

“Incredibly great contribution made”

Kurz continued to say that his country made an “unbelievably large contribution” in refugee policy. Often the EU member states at the external borders are particularly considered when it comes to refugees and migrants. In fact, Austria is the “third most affected country” in the EU after Sweden and Germany when it comes to accepting refugees. In the past five years, 200,000 people have been admitted to Austria.

Kurz emphasized that smaller states in the EU should also have the opportunity to contribute their interests. “The European Union is more than just Germany and France,” he emphasized. This is also a good thing. As the two largest EU states, Germany and France “naturally have a certain claim to leadership”. However, other states would have “the same opportunity to contribute their ideas and seek majorities for them”.

As an example, Kurz named the group of the so-called frugals or thrifty four, which, in addition to Austria, consist of the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. In the debate about the EU’s Corona reconstruction plan, the four states obtained a reduction in the planned grants for countries badly affected by the crisis. Austria shares “many approaches and interests” with the other three “frugal states”, said Kurz.

Obligations for EU countries?

In the process of reforming asylum and migration policy, however, the EU Commission is aiming to oblige the EU states to accept those in need of protection in exceptional situations. Alternatively, the governments could also help with the deportation of rejected asylum seekers, reported Die Welt, citing high-ranking EU diplomats. First of all, the solidarity of the other EU countries should be voluntary – at least in certain scenarios. EU circles confirmed this.

The EU Commission therefore describes three scenarios: In the event of a normal development, the EU states can help voluntarily. This initially also applies to the second scenario, when the asylum system comes under pressure – as long as enough contributions are collected. In the event of a crisis, assistance should be mandatory. On Wednesday, the EU Commission wants to present a new proposal for the reform of the asylum migration policy, which has been blocked for years, which the EU states and the European Parliament will then have to negotiate. The EU states have been arguing about the distribution of protection seekers for years.

According to the report, the EU Commission intends to largely adhere to the currently valid Dublin principle, according to which the EU country on whose soil the person seeking protection first entered European soil is usually responsible for an asylum application. In order to deport rejected asylum seekers more quickly, the EU Commission proposes according to the “Welt” an “EU coordinator for returns”, who should lead a working group.


Short vs. Merkel: The sudden return of the migration duel

PSuddenly the television viewers see a young man on the screen, whom at that time hardly anyone in Germany knows. It’s Sebastian Kurz, 30 years old and Austrian Foreign Minister for almost four years. “I will certainly not interfere in the German debate,” says the politician, who was tuned into the “heute-journal” on this January evening in 2016. And then immediately interferes. In the years that followed, Kurz became Angela Merkel’s central European opponent when it came to migration. With the fires in the Moria refugee camp, the old conflict between Kurz and Merkel has become topical again.


The group of 16 against the CDU majority – politics

The letter is only a few lines long, but it is not lacking in clarity. “Dear Mr. Seehofer,” write the authors. In view of “the terrible pictures from the burning Moria and the inhumane situation in the camp, we turn to you with an urgent request to offer Greece concrete help”. Germany and Europe could and should do more. It is “now not primarily about shaping a common European refugee policy”, but about “alleviating obvious human hardship”. Germany must therefore take in 5,000 refugees from Greece “if possible together with other EU countries, but if necessary alone, too.” In a humanitarian emergency, Germany should “not remain passive or wait for others”.

This letter to Seehofer was signed by 16 members of the Union parliamentary group – among them the board members Michael Brand, Antje Tillmann and Roderich Kiesewetter as well as the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Norbert Röttgen. If the initiators had taken their time, even more MPs would have signed. But it was important to Röttgen & Co. to get their message across quickly.

How to deal with the horror of Moria? That is of course also a concern for the CDU. And the group of 16 is one pole in the debate. The other includes MPs such as the domestic policy spokesman for the Union parliamentary group, Mathias Middelberg. You vehemently reject a German solo effort because that would create the wrong incentives and the other EU states could then sit back and relax. Friedrich Merz and most of the Union faction also belong to this camp. Armin Laschet, next to Röttgen and Merz third candidate for the CDU chairmanship, stands in between.

Laschet: NRW takes in up to 1000 refugees from Moria

At the beginning of August Laschet visited the Moria camp himself. At that time, he insisted on the unreasonable situation there. Laschet said he experienced a “cry of desperation”. People must be helped. That was before the fire in Moria, now the situation there is even more terrible than it was then. The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister has announced that his state wants to accept 1,000 refugees. But at the same time he warned against the German going it alone. Laschet did not follow Röttgen’s request to Seehofer to single-handedly take in 5000 refugees if necessary.

Röttgen does not attack his two competitors for the CDU chairmanship directly. But he makes it clear that he considers their positions to be inadequate. “We have to react quickly and appropriately to this humanitarian emergency, and we can do that too,” said Röttgen Süddeutsche Zeitung. It is a “demarcable humanitarian emergency”, in which one can therefore “help without setting false incentives”. And the willingness to help is “there, too: There are ten large cities in Germany that want to take in refugees – federal states such as North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria have also agreed”.

Röttgen therefore not only considers what the federal government has offered so far to be too little. He also thinks that this is a situation in which nobody should duck politically. “As a candidate for the CDU chairmanship, it is particularly important to me to make it clear what a Christian-democratic position should look like in such a case,” said Röttgen. And his guiding principle is: “We must reflect on the strength of our principles of responsibility – and must not be afraid to act humanely.”


German refugee policy: deportation numbers rise again

Germany is sending back significantly more refugees. The authorities have no concerns about Corona.

Kabul, May 2020: No deportation to Afghanistan since mid-March Photo: Mohammad Ismail / reuter

BERLIN taz | German authorities are deporting more refugees again. After significantly fewer people were initially forced back to their country of origin or to third countries in the corona crisis, the number of “repatriations” has since risen again. According to figures from the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), 406 people were deported from Germany in June. While that is significantly less than in January and February – when the corresponding numbers were over 1,500 – but much more than in April (30) and May (92).

This U-curve in the deportation statistics can also be found if you break down the figures for the individual federal states: after a low point in April and May, almost everyone is now rising steeply again. And the incomplete data available for July so far indicate that the number has continued to increase. In Hamburg, for example, significantly more people were deported between July 1 and 23 than in June as a whole.

The federal states are thus implementing what was decided at the Interior Ministers’ Conference (IMK) in Erfurt in June: At that time, a spokesman for the Federal Interior Ministry told taz that the “repatriations” should “slowly start up again”.

After all: No one has been deported to Afghanistan – a controversial destination even before Corona – since mid-March, the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced on request. In Afghanistan, corona numbers rose dramatically in June. The fact that it will not be deported there seems to be less due to concerns on the German side than to the urging of the Afghan government. The BMI announced in writing that “collective returns” were suspended “at the request of the Afghan government against the background of the corona pandemic”.

Also, deportations to other countries were probably not called off because the German authorities would have suddenly felt guilty about sending people back during a global pandemic to countries that often only have rudimentary health systems. The BMI simply states that many states have closed their borders. “In this respect, the BMI takes the situation in the countries of origin into account,” writes a spokeswoman. She also writes: “The BMI is urging the countries of origin to return to their homes soon.”

Günter Burkhardt calls all of this “irresponsible”. However, the managing director of Pro Asyl is not surprised. Affected people are often “before nothing” in the countries to which they are pushed. This also applies in part to people who are sent back to other EU countries via the Dublin procedure. Even before the corona crisis, the humanitarian situation for refugees in Italy and Greece was dramatic, according to Burkhardt. This has been even more the case since the outbreak of the pandemic.


“My life in Germany” – every hug could be the last one – politics

Since the hamster buying fever broke out in Berlin, I’ve often rushed to the supermarkets. When I brought home the large amounts of bread, long-life milk and flour, I was ashamed of my fear – or rather of my hamsters. I hid my purchases so that my behavior would not cause more fear to other passers-by. However, when I saw Germans almost fought toilet paper and carried it home in really large quantities, I felt less guilty and almost a little comforted – others also seemed to be driven by fear.

Around a month has passed since the crisis began, and my fears of finding empty supermarket shelves have evaporated. I’m getting tired of eating our frozen and baked bread. But it doesn’t help, the supplies for a five-person household have to go. At least I know that almost everything will still be available for sale in Germany.

Yahya Alaous

worked in Syria as a political correspondent for a large daily newspaper. Because of his critical reporting, the now 46-year-old was in prison from 2002 to 2004, his ID was confiscated and he was banned from working. After being released, he switched to an underground website that was closed by the regime after eight years. During the Arab Spring, he wrote under a pseudonym for an opposition newspaper. When it became too dangerous in Syria, he fled to Germany with his wife and two daughters. The family has been living in Berlin since summer 2015. In the SZ, Yahya Alaous regularly writes about “My life in Germany”.

For us Syrians, the corona crisis is not the first crisis. The memories of entire generations of Syrians are shaped by crises – whereby the “crises” were rather wars and disasters of various kinds. When Germany experienced its economic miracle and gradually recovered from the aftermath of the Second World War, our region tumbled from one war to another, each accompanied by a condition that resembled the corona crisis.

In the 1980s, in my childhood and adolescence, there was a shadow over Syria. There was hardly enough food for everyone. A high-ranking official could be bribed with a packet of tissues and a box of cigarettes. Endless lines in front of bakeries were perfectly normal, handkerchiefs a luxury item that only very wealthy families could afford. Bananas, it seemed to me, grew on Mars – there was no other way I could explain that all Syrians born in the 1970s grew up without them.

In the early 1990s everything seemed to get a little better. Until Saddam Hussein sent 39 bombs to Israel in January 1991. I still remember exactly how my father called me at five in the morning with the words “wake up, come with me, Saddam attacked Israel!” woke up. I was amazed and asked where he was going now – to war? “No!” He replied, “we have to buy bread, it is certain that war will come!” After many hours we finally came back home with a lot of bread, so I had to eat baked bread for weeks, just like today. Although it tastes better today because we froze it – an achievement in technology that our broken fridge did not allow us at the time.

The Syrian Revolution that started in 2011 brought with it circumstances that we could not have imagined. Hundreds, if not thousands, died as a result of the regime’s closure of the rebel-held areas, others suffered and died of malnutrition and malnutrition. Wherever they were stuck, they found nothing to eat but grass and green leaves.

Normal state curfew

The curfew that some European countries are currently experiencing was normal for us Syrians in the years of the still raging war. Those who ignored the curfew were not struck down by a dangerous virus, but by the much-feared snipers. Moving between cities was also a highly dangerous adventure that could be ended at any time by murder or kidnapping.

And those who were still on the move after dark were often simply lost through arbitrary shootings, kidnappings or imprisonments. It was enough to have the wrong news from the wrong people – not loyal to the regime – on his cell phone. Thousands died in explosions because they could not or did not want to observe the curfew, for example because they were looking for water or bread. Dozens of cities were without water, without electricity, without food for months.

The biggest fear, however, was to “lose” someone, simply not to get any more messages from him or her. It was clear to all of the bereaved that in all likelihood this loved one would never be seen again. All the time, I was afraid of losing close friends or family members, so that our hugs when we parted became more intense. Every time could be the last time!

This fear keeps coming up in me now, in times of the corona crisis. It is a terrible fear.

It hurts me to see doctors and nurses get Covid-19 sick. You remind me of the situation in Syrian hospitals, which have been overcrowded with injuries since 2011. The images that reach us from Italy or the United States remind me of how many injuries had to die after Russian attacks or attacks by the regime, since the doctors had to decide between life and death according to the principle of triage, which is still used today.

The crisis makes us stronger as a community

The picture in Syria was the same as it is now in some rich countries in the western world: too little medication, too little protective equipment for doctors and nurses, too little respiratory equipment. Doctors, nurses, and nurses who survived the battle know what it means to lose colleagues.

And now? Syria is not far from a corona crisis. Dozens of infected people have been reported. In addition to cholera, typhoid and polio, which are terribly spreading again in Syria due to the disastrous hygienic conditions in many places, there is now also the corona virus with all its unpredictable developments.

As a Syrian, I know what fear, hunger and curfew mean. I still remember well how the cities were sealed off from each other, how we could no longer see our family members, friends and acquaintances. My memories of missing or dead friends still hurt, and for nothing in the world do I want to lose loved ones from my German circle of friends. I share all feelings of solidarity, concern, fear with my friends and neighbors, and somehow it seems to me that this crisis is making us stronger as a community and that my feelings of belonging here are getting bigger and more truthful.

Translation: Jasna Zajcek


Refugees in Greece: But no heart for children

The government promised to evacuate refugee children from the Greek islands. But the Ministry of the Interior admits that not a single one is here yet.

Children in the crowded Moria camp on the island of Lesbos Photo: Murat Turemis

BERLIN taz | It was just a small gesture of humanity – but better than nothing. Union and SPD agreed on a coalition decision a month ago to “support Greece in the difficult humanitarian situation of around 1,000 to 1,500 children on the Greek islands”. The children should be flown out and distributed to several European countries.

The coalition promised that Germany would be prepared to “take a reasonable share”. According to the dpa news agency, there were between 250 and 400 people. Even then, time was short: Greek refugee camps, for example on the island of Lesbos, are completely overcrowded, the hygienic conditions are catastrophic. The coalition wrote that it was about children who were seriously ill and in urgent need of treatment. And those who are unaccompanied and younger than 14, most of them girls.

Although the situation has deteriorated dramatically since then due to the corona epidemic, not a single child has yet arrived in Germany. The Federal Ministry of the Interior has now admitted this in response to a request from the Left Party MP Jan Korte, which is available to the taz. “As of March 30, 2020, no asylum seekers had been transferred to the Federal Republic of Germany as part of the aforementioned procedure,” writes the Interior Ministry.

The Ministry apparently sees the responsibility with the EU Commission. The latter took over the coordination for a takeover of minors, the answer says. And: “The European Commission is actively supported in its efforts by the Federal Government.” Originally, eight EU countries had agreed to take part in the campaign.

Left Party: “Government completely fails”

Left-wing politician Korte criticizes the government. “Especially in the Corona crisis, sick and unaccompanied children urgently need protection and our solidarity,” he told the taz. “But unfortunately the federal government completely fails to help the refugees in Greece.” Despite her decision and the willingness of 140 German cities and municipalities to accept refugees, she has not managed to fly a single child out of the hell of the camps until today, so Korte. “From the Federal Government’s perspective, Europe obviously means more than ever today: everyone is next to themselves.”

The process is extremely embarrassing for the coalition. The aid offer decided at the beginning of March was criticized by social organizations and human rights organizations as too small. The number of people to be admitted was “far too low given the unbearable conditions on the Greek islands,” said Caritas President Peter Neher. And now it doesn’t even work smoothly with this little gesture.

But the pressure to help quickly is increasing. A group of over 50 Union MPs appeals to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) to quickly fly out of the children. “In view of the rapid growth of the corona virus worldwide, an immediate admission” of refugee children is “urgently required”, it says in a letter that is available. The situation is unacceptable for Europeans.

Sympathies for humanitarian solo action

One of the signatories is the CDU MP Norbert Röttgen, who is also applying for the CDU chairmanship. “The project must be carried out as quickly as possible,” wrote Röttgen on Twitter. He proposed to take action without other EU countries. “Germany can act, doesn’t have to wait for others.”

There would also be sympathy in the SPD for humanitarian solo action. “If the colleagues of the Union are serious, I suggest: We anticipate our share,” tweets the SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach. “We pretend that the others have already acted.” The children need help.


Greece withdraws suspension of asylum law – politics

Following international criticism, the Greek government has withdrawn its decision not to accept asylum applications from migrants who came to Greece illegally from Turkey after March 1. As the Ministry of Migration in Athens announced on Tuesday, these people can now apply for asylum. Every case will be dealt with. “Anyone who is not entitled to protection will immediately be sent back to their country of origin,” the ministry statement continued.

The migration ministry said that as long as the asylum applications were being processed, people would have to remain in camps. Voluntary returnees should receive 2,000 euros, it said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at the end of February that the border with the EU was open to refugees and other migrants. As a result, thousands of people set out to get from Turkey to Greece and thus to the EU. However, Greece did not let them pass and said it would suspend the right to asylum for a month for the time being. This had led to fierce criticism from human rights organizations, among others.

Germany wants to take 50 minors from the refugee camps

Germany is ready to accept up to 50 unaccompanied minors from refugee camps on the Greek islands. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) will submit a corresponding proposal to the Federal Cabinet, the Federal Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday evening in Berlin. If possible, the transfer should start in the coming week. The admission takes place within the framework of a European solution and is coordinated by the EU Commission.

After arriving in Germany, the ministry said the children and adolescents should first go into a two-week quarantine centrally before being distributed to the federal states, as previously announced by Luxembourg that twelve unaccompanied minors from the overcrowded camps on the Greek islands would be there next week Record Lesbos and Chios.

Eight EU countries, including Luxembourg and Germany, agreed in March to accept a total of 1,600 unaccompanied minors and other particularly vulnerable refugees from the Greek islands. So far, however, no fixed date for a transfer was known.