The 'Greece and Germany relocation program' for refugee children with serious health conditions and their families, has been completed.
According to a joint statement released by the ministry and the German embassy in Athens, 1,024 people in total (including 612 children) were relocated to Germany from Greece.
Among other things, the relocation was a "long-term plan", with the main aim of enabling families with at least one child with a serious health problem to relocate to Germany, where they would have access to specialist health centres.
"The pandemic was a major obstacle. It caused delays in the procedures and increased the risk, both for those involved in the program and for the employees, who worked day and night in order to implement it. All of the above could not be achieved and it would be possible to relocate such a large number of people in just five months, without the close cooperation and continuous communication of the stakeholders, both nationally and internationally. Indeed, this cooperation has formed close bonds of solidarity and understanding that reflect the fundamental values of the EU."
The joint statement also stressed that Germany "recognises the systematic efforts of Greece, as EU's frontline border state, to effectively manage the ongoing challenge of migration and refugee flows," while Greece "thanks Germany for its continued and substantial assistance, which is an example of support and effective solidarity for all EU Member States."
Commenting on the joint statement, Alternate Migration & Asylum Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos praised the successful completion of the program amid the difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic.