Thursday, November 19, 2015

The EU Agrees to a $3 Billion Action Plan with Turkey To Ease Migrant Crisis

Migrants walking towards Greece border along a highway
 on their way to the border between Turkey and Greece 
Getty Images
Turkey will receive up to €3 billion (£2.2 billion) in aid and fast-track access to visas in return for clamping down on the flow of migrants to Europe.
EU leaders offered Ankara a host of long-sought sweeteners in exchange for shutting borders that have let 350,000 people enter Europe since January.
Angela Merkel said the EU had agreed to open a "new chapter" in accession talks to the bloc after decades of delays, adding that the EU was looking at a "ballpark" of €3 billion.
Given Turkey has spent seven billion addressing the migrant crisis it "makes sense" for EU states to contribute, the German chancellor said.
"We cannot organise or stem the refugee movements without working with Turkey," said Mrs Merkel, who is due to visit Turkey at the weekend for talks about the crisis and Syria with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president.
Turkey is the main launching point for the more than 600,000 migrants who have entered Europe this year. Most refugees and migrants make make the short but dangerous sea crossing to the Greek islands as they flee war in the Middle East and north Africa.
Donald Tusk, the EU summit chairman, expressed "cautious optimism", adding: "Our intensified meetings with Turkish leaders ... in the last couple of weeks were devoted to one goal: stemming the migratory flows that go via Turkey to the EU. The action plan is a major step in this direction."
Read the rest of the story HERE

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