Tuesday, February 9, 2016

EU Official: Turkey Must Retain More Refugees; Fails to Cut Migrant Flow in $3.2B Deal with EU

Europe needs Turkey to dramatically cut the number of migrants reaching Greece within weeks or the pressure for more border closures and fences will grow, the top EU (European Union) official in charge of ties with Ankara has warned, the Reuters website reports today (February 9, 2016).

Frustrated that refugees continue to stream into Greece despite a November 29 deal between Ankara and Brussels to slow down the flow, European Commissioner Johannes Hahn said Turkey must show results by the time EU leaders meet for a February 18-19 summit.

"This action plan was agreed more than two months ago and we are still not seeing a significant decline in the number of migrants," Hahn -- the EU's enlargement commissioner -- said.

"Turkey could do more, I have no doubt," Hahn added. The EU had agreed to give Turkey 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) and Turkey had agreed to keep Syrian refugees on its soil, but statistics on migrants indicate that  Turkey has not retained any more refugees than it had before the November pact was signed.

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