Portugal will receive 500 unaccompanied minor refugees from Greece

Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva announces lifting of sanctions

Portugal is to receive 500 unaccompanied children from “refugee” camps in Greece as soon as the restrictions imposed by the new coronation pandemic are lifted, Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said today.

“The commitment to get 500 of the (more than 5,000) unaccompanied minors in camps in Greece remains and will be implemented as soon as the restrictions due to the pandemic allow us,” Santos Silva told a parliamentary committee, according to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

The foreign minister’s statement comes after Socialist Party MEP Isabel Santos announced on Saturday that 60 unaccompanied children are expected to arrive in the country from refugee camps in Greece in the coming weeks. Isabel Santos did not specify when exactly.

Portugal, which has reported 27,913 cases of the virus and 1,163 deaths, said it was willing to accept some children as part of a voluntary European relocation plan for about 1,600 children.

Other countries, such as Germany, Ireland, France and Luxembourg, are also taking part in the initiative. The first relocations took place last month when 12 minors were transferred to Luxembourg. Since then, Germany has received about 50 children.

Although Santos Silva said the reception and reunification of the 500 children is currently being prepared by the government, Left-wing leader Block Beatrice Gomez Dias said the living conditions provided to refugees in Portugal are often inadequate.

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