The Turkish government is being criticised for failing to bring down the number of migrants making their way through the country and into Europe.
The number of migrants crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to EU member Greece is still “way too high” despite a November deal with Ankara aiming to limit the flow, the EU’s first vice president said on Monday.
“The numbers are still way too high in Greece, between 2,000-3,000 people (arriving) every day. We cannot be satisfied at this stage,” Frans Timmermans told reporters after talks with Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkir in Ankara.
Under an action plan agreed in November, EU leaders pledged three billion euros ($3.2 billion) in aid for the more than 2.2 million Syrian refugees sheltering in Turkey, in exchange for Ankara acting to reduce the flow.
When the deal was brokered in October, I reported:
A European Commission source has told Breitbart London that the latest deal, which offers Turkey €3 billion and visa liberalisation with EU member states will lead to Turkey exporting more of their internal Kurdish problems to Europe.
“They’ll give Turkish passports to all the [Kurds from Iraq and Syria] who come to Turkey, and use the €3bn to pay for it. They been giving out Turkish passports freely since 2001, and are looking to move Kurds out,” the EU source said.
Under pressure at from voters at home, EU leaders want to reduce the numbers coming to the European Union after over one million migrants reached Europe in 2015.
Yet there has so far been no sign of a significant reduction in the numbers of migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and other troubled states undertaking the perilous crossing in rubber boats from Turkey’s western coast to Greece.
In the latest tragedy, Turkish authorities last week found the bodies of at least 36 migrants, including several children, washed up on beaches and floating off its western coast after their boats sank.
“I believe we need to speed our work to get some of the projects in place,” said Timmermans.
“I also said to the minister that we need… to be very explicit on what elements of the action plan have already been implemented and where we still need work.”
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage wrote for Breitbart London in October:
Yet another European leader summit in Brussels. These meetings now take place so regularly that it is now a substitute for cabinet government at an European Union (EU) level. This time, quite out of the blue, without any rumours or warning, comes an astonishing Turkey-EU migrant deal. This I believe verges on insanity.
…the UK contribution to this will be upwards of €300 million. There is of course no guarantee that because Turkey has more money to help these people that it will be able to prevent them from heading onwards to Europe. The EU policy has now clearly changed from welcoming anyone that sets foot on European soil to talking this week about a military wing to Frontex, the EU border agency. I can see why the EU thinks that this is the right thing to do. Personally, I think it will make little difference.
…Even if the €3 billion was to prevent the current migrant tide, visa-free access means that will be replaced if not surpassed by a new migrant tide. Perhaps the effect of all of this will be a doubling of the numbers getting into the EU from Turkey.