13,000 chairs set up at Reichstag in symbolic plea over overcrowded migrant camp

13,000 chairs set up at Reichstag in symbolic plea over overcrowded migrant camp
Activists place chairs as part of a protest against racism and for the admission of more migrants by the European Union in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany (Markus Schreiber/AP)

Activists have set up thousands of chairs outside the German parliament in Berlin to underline their calls to take in migrants from an overcrowded camp on a Greek island.

The 13,000 chairs set up in front of the Reichstag building are meant to symbolise the inhabitants of the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, as well as the readiness of some German cities and states to take migrants in.

Sea rescue activist groups backing Monday’s action said the first confirmed coronavirus case at Moria adds urgency to long-standing calls for the camp’s evacuation.

Greek authorities last week imposed a 14-day quarantine on Moria after one man who had been living in a tent outside the camp fence tested positive for the virus.

12,714 The number of people housed in the 2,757-capacity Moria camp on Lesbos

As of August 31, the Moria camp housed 12,714 people, several times its capacity of 2,757.

Germany’s federal government has agreed to take in a total of 243 children from camps in Greece who need medical treatment, as well as their closest relatives.

So far, 99 of the children have arrived.

It has also taken in 53 unaccompanied children evacuated from the camps.

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