Dutch Offer to Transport Children; Won’t Take Them In

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The Dutch government is willing to help Greece to move unaccompanied refugee children from Greek islands to the mainland — however, it insists on refusing to take any of them into its own territory.

The Hague is under pressure both by Brussels and large parts of Dutch society, which are calling on the center-right government to follow the example of Germany, France, Luxembourg, Ireland and other countries to transfer minors from the Greek islands to their territories to offer them a opportunity for a new life.

For this reason, the Dutch junior justice minister Ankie Broekers-Knol was reported by the Dutch Nieuwsuur news website on Thursday as being willing to assist Athens to transfer and accommodate refugee children from the islands onto the mainland.

This would be accomplished by Dutch charities and the establishment of a guardianship scheme provided by the Netherlands, which would assist Greek families on the mainland to provide foster care to these children.

This is seen as a balance move between the repeated calls of Brussels on member-states to assist Athens, and the tough stance many right-wing national governments across the EU hold. They have called for refusing to take any refugees, even children, onto their territories, to ease the burden of Greece and at a lesser extent that of Italy.