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An aerial photo showing the extent of destruction at Moria, a refugee camp that was housing 4,000 people, on Lesbos in Greece on Thursday, 10 September 2020. Another 8,000 people lived in tents and makeshift shacks around the camp. (Will Vassilopoulos – AFP/Lehtikuva)


ELEVEN ASYLUM SEEKERS from Moria, a fire-ravaged refugee camp on Lesbos in Greece, will be relocated to Finland, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

The Ministry of the Interior on Friday morning said all of the asylum seekers are underage and unaccompanied. The relocations will be carried out on an unspecified date and the asylum seekers placed in quarantine-like conditions for 14 days after their arrival in Finland.

Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (Greens) pointed out that the fire is shocking particularly because it exacerbated an already difficult situation at the camp housing 4,000 asylum seekers. Roughly twice as many refugees are believed to live in tents and makeshift shacks around the camp.

The Finnish government, Ohisalo reminded, committed earlier this year to settle 175 vulnerable asylum seekers to support countries in the Mediterranean. A total of 72 underage unaccompanied asylum applicants have since been relocated from Greece to Finland, helping not only the vulnerable applicants but also the fellow member state.

“By receiving these 11 underage people, we are continuing to provide support and implement the government’s decision,” she said.

Germany, the current holder of the presidency of the Council of the EU, has asked other member states to help to alleviate the situation in Greece, which has moved more than 400 unaccompanied refugees from the island of Lesbos.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT