With the combined support of the Social Democrats (SPÖ), the Greens and the NEOS, the Vienna City Council voted on Monday, August 31 to take in up to 100 “children in need of protection” from the overcrowded and often filthy and dangerous refugee camps on the Greek Islands.
The proposal was in response to an initiative of the EU Commission for intervention on behalf of 1,000 particularly vulnerable persons to be transferred from Greek camps to safer situations in other EU member states.
Conditions Not Fit for Human Beings
In the resolution, the City of Vienna is calling on the federal government to “participate in the EU program,” citing “sufficient capacity” to take in and care for the children.
“In the Moria camp alone, there are currently around 16,000 people, which is far beyond the actual capacity of just under 3,000 people,” the resolution points out, adding that conditions in the camps for asylum seekers and migrants on the Greek islands have not been humane for years. “Many have lost their parents, the hygienic conditions are terrible, people suffer instead of living.” COVID-19 has further exacerbated “these intolerable conditions.”
Criticism of the decision came from the FPÖ. This “opened the door for the influx of hundreds of other social migrants,” said Vienna FPÖ leader Dominik Nepp in a press release.