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US News Austria: grandmothers mobilize to welcome migrants from Moria camp

05:15  22 october  2020
05:15  22 october  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

Covid-19 in UK: Johnson closes Liverpool pubs and reactivates field hospitals

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France and Germany are working together to find a solution to welcome migrants from the Greek island of Lesbos after Europe's largest refugee camp burned to the ground, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

Around 10,000 migrants from the destroyed Moria camp are currently being housed in a temporary tent facility on the island. France will welcome 500 unaccompanied minors from Greece. The French European Affairs Minister has confirmed that 150 children are to be evacuated after the fire at Moria

Des migrants traversent la frontière germano-autrichienne, en octobre 2015 (illustration). © AP Photo / Kerstin Joensson Migrants cross the German-Austrian border in October 2015 (illustration).

Austrian grandmothers are mobilizing for the country to welcome migrants from Moria, the camp on the Greek island of Lesvos devastated by fire. They are called the Omas gegen Rechts, in French, "the grannies against the right-wing" and they have been camping for a month in front of the chancellery to change Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's mind, who has so far refused to welcome some.

With our correspondent in Vienna, Isaure Hiace

The Omas gegen Rechts group was formed at the end of 2017 when Sebastian Kurz joined forces with the far right to lead the country. Today, he governs with the Greens but remains inflexible on migration policy, refusing to accept migrants from Moria, what the Omas denounce.

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As of Thursday, 35 migrants from the Moria camp have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and had been placed in isolation, according to Read more: Greece opens new camp for Moria migrants but thousands refuse to enter. Authorities were able to move only 1,200 refugees to the new camp

On Monday, about 2,000 immigrants left the Moriah camp in Mytilene, protested against living conditions, but were greeted by tear gas police. The migrants

“There is no reason not to help these people: Austrian taxpayers are paying for now empty reception centers which could all be made available. And then we need these people in our aging European societies, ”explains Susanne Scholl, 71.

Determined grandmothers

For the past month, the Omas have taken turns camping in front of the chancellery almost every day. They hope in this way to convince the Chancellor, but also the Austrians reluctant to welcome refugees, explains Elisabeth Zoumboulakis-Rottenberg, 73 years old.

“My family had to flee Austria in 1938 and if they hadn't been taken in by another country then, I wouldn't exist today. I think the Austrians have a duty to do the same. And I tell them: "we can do it!" », Launches the septuagenarian.

So far neither Sebastian Kurz, nor any minister has come to meet them. The Omas therefore promise to continue their movement.

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