Syrians stuck in Greece protest at German embassy

Syrian refugees stranded in Greece chanted “no more waiting!” and protested outside the German embassy in Athens on Wednesday against delays in reuniting with their relatives in Germany. About 150 people, among them young children, marched from parliament to the embassy holding up cardboard banners in English reading “I want my family” and shouting slogans about travel to Germany.
Greek media have reported that Greece and Germany have informally agreed to slow down refugee reunification, stranding families in Greece for months after they fled Syria’s civil war. An official letter leaked by a Greek daily in May pointed to a tacit understanding between Greek and German migration officials to limit the number of reunification approvals. “Family reunification transfer to Germany will slow down as agreed,” Greek Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas wrote to German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere in a May 4 letter obtained by leftist daily Efimerida ton Syntakton. Mouzalas has said the slowdown was due to “technical difficulties.”
About 60,000 refugees and migrants, mostly Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, have been in Greece for over a year after border closures in the Balkans halted the onward journey many planned to take to central and western Europe. “My message is ‘enough waiting, enough suffering’,” said 41-year-old Syrian Malak Rahmoun, who lives in a Greek camp with her three daughters while her husband and son are in Berlin. “I feel my heart (is) miserable,” she said. Rahmoun said she and her daughter applied for family reunification last year but that the Greek authorities have not given a clear reply.

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