The cross-parties “Christmas appeal” which cites humanitarian concerns by MPs of the Greens, the Social Democrats and the Left Party but also by dozens of the conservative CDU/CSU bloc and the FDP Liberals. They urge the German government to cooperate with the federal states and municipal councils where there is also growing support for letting more of the refugees from Greece into Germany.

The appeal references an “ongoing catastrophic situation” especially on the Greek islands. The signers laud the admissions already allowed. Within the framework of several contingents since April more than 1,500 refugees were allowed in, 88 recently. But these are not enough, the appeal says: “This is why we as Members of the Bundestag call on the federal government to work for adherence to European human rights and laws and to speed up the admission of refugees from the Greek islands to Germany,” expressly more than the already “pledged contingent”.

“The German government should also urge other EU states to share in humanitarian actions to take in refugees.”

The parliamentarians recall that more than 200 German local authorities and some federal states have offered to take in more refugees. “These pledges are substantially bigger than the federally coordinated intake,” states the appeal. “We see a duty of the federal government to allow the municipalities and states able and willing to do this,” states the appeal.

The reasons given for the call are catastrophic care and hygiene situations in Greek camps, eg. Moria burnt to the ground in September on Lesbos “that for years was the symbol of the failure of European asylum policy.”

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“The humanitarian situation in the new “interim” camp Kara Tepe on Lesbos according to concurring reports of human rights organisations is much worse than it was in Moria. “Especially sharp criticism is levelled at the closure of the smaller camp of Pikpa on Lesbos for especially vulnerable people.”

Initial signers of the call are the MPs Luise Amtsberg (Greens), Ulla Jelpke (Left Party), Gyde Jensen (Liberals), Ulli Nissen (Social Democrats) and Matthias Zimmer (Christian Democrats). Also participants are the Greens whips Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Anton Hofreiter as well as party co-chief Annalena Baerbock, Social Democrat co-chief Saskia Esken, the Left Bundestag whips Amira Mohamed Ali and Dietmar Bartsch as well as party chief Katja Kipping and former Christian Democrat whip Volker Kauder.

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The NGO World Vision Deutschland welcomed the appeal. “Whereas we can celebrate Christmas despite the Corona restrictions the situation of those seeking safety in Greece is unbearable, especially for the children,” their chairman Cristoph Waffenschmidt wrote.