13,000 chairs outside German parliament in Greek migrant camps protest

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Berlin (AFP)

Campaigners placed 13,000 chairs outside the German parliament building in Berlin on Monday, in a symbolic protest calling for the overcrowded migrants camps in Greek islands to be shut down.

Each chair represented one of the people stuck in terrible conditions in the Moria camp on Lesbos island, Greece's largest reception camp, said the organising groups, Seebruecke, Sea-Watch, Campact and LeaveNoOneBehind.

The chairs also recalled that German communes and states, with Berlin at the head, have said they are ready to take responsibility for migrants languishing in the insalubrious camps on several Greek islands.

"The Bundestag was on holiday this summer, the humanitarian catastrophe at the EU external borders was not," the groups said in a statement.

Last week Greece announced the first coronavirus case in the Moria camp.

Almost 13,000 people live in Moria, which is only meant to have capacity for fewer than 2,800.

Overall, there are nearly 24,000 people in five Greek island camps built to handle fewer than 6,100.

Germany has taken in 465 people from these camps, mostly sick children and their families.

Berlin alone has promised to take in over a thousand.