Strasbourg, January 20, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Manolis Kostidis
MEPs are asking about the developments regarding the agreement with Turkey
Ankara requests EUR 3 bn
The priority of the new presidency of the European Council will be addressing the migration crisis. “We need to achieve tangible results and make sure that they are visible so that we can tackle the growing skepticism across Europe. Keeping promises and agreements should be the new norm in Europe. A deal is a deal”, said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the debate today on the launch of a new six-month presidency of the Council.
He stated that the agreements with Turkey should be implemented quickly so as to reduce the pressure at the external borders of the EU, while underlined the need to make safe reception conditions for refugees to control the external borders, especially for Greece, reception points “hotspots” must begin to operate and to resolve the issue in the correct identification of refugees.
“The current figures show that the situation is not sustainable. We are running out of time. We need a large reduction of refugee flows within the next six to eight weeks”, said the Dutch Prime Minister.
The migration crisis Greece and the EU are faced with continues, despite the agreement with Ankara, and in the plenary of the European Parliament in the presence of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Head MEPs of the New Democracy, said that “the refugee and migration flows continue unabated from Turkey to the Aegean islands and what’s more at a ratio of two migrants to a refugee. Turkey has not fulfilled its commitments towards the European Union to halt the refugee flow. The traffickers continue to operate unchecked. The question is, have the money agreed by the EU towards Turkey been paid, part or all of them? Is it true that the Italian side refuses to give money to a situation in which Turkey does not honor its commitments?
Question to the European Commission also lodged the President of the European Parliament and MEP SYRIZA, Dimitris Papadimoulis, for the status of implementation of the EU agreement with Turkey on the refugee flows.
Citing the recent statements of the European Commission vice president, Frans Timmermans, the SYRIZA MEP reminded that Turkey is moving very slowly on the issue of implementation of the EU agreement, while at the same time it is also expect to receive funds in the region of EUR 3 bn, in order to implement the commitments.
The SYRIZA MEP in his interpellation requested information from the European Commission for the development and evaluation of the EU-Turkey agreement and for “what steps will the Commission take to speed up the implementation of the Agreement regarding the control refugee flow?”.
Within this climate, the Turkish Foreign Minister for the EU Volkan Bozkir said that “Turkey has fulfilled its own obligations in the agreement with the EU on the refugee issue, calling now the “28” on their part to “fulfill their commitments”. As for the reactions of Italy to the release of the funds, Ankara says that this is an internal matter for the EU.