Germany has rejected calls from the European Commission asking the country to take in more unaccompanied migrant children from overcrowded refugee camps in Greece.

Horst Seehofer, the interior minister, on Christmas Eve said while he was concerned about the plight of the migrants, doing so without a concerted European strategy would only encourage people smugglers.

“A solo act by Germany would lead to a pull effect,” he said. German Development Minister Gerd Mueller said that the most effective course of action was to help the migrant children where they are, rather than bringing them to Germany.

Mr Seehofer said Germany was already doing a considerable amount to assist in the crisis, sending 57 trucks with supplies for more than 10,000 people. Germany has also taken in 10,200 refugees as part of a campaign in the region by the UNHCR in 2018 and 2019.

“It’s not only important to keep order, but we must act in a humanitarian fashion,” he said.

“We must not abandon Greece.”