Dutch plan for EU ‘refugee swap’ with Turkey. (EUObserver).
The Netherlands is gathering support among a group of EU countries for a plan to accept “a couple hundred thousand refugees per year” from Turkey, in exchange for sending back all illegal migrants that arrive in Greece.
The plan was revealed on Thursday (28 January) by Dutch social-democrat leader Diederik Samsom in an interview with newspaper De Volkskrant, and has the support of prime minister Mark Rutte.
The Netherlands currently holds the rotating six-month EU presidency.
“I think there is a realistic chance that by this spring a leading group of EU countries will have an agreement with Turkey about a legal migration route for a couple hundred thousand refugees per year, in exchange for [Turkey] accepting back everyone who enters [the EU] via Greece,” Samsom told the paper's Brussels correspondent.
The idea is to distribute "between 150,000 and 250,000" refugees among EU countries who voluntarily take part in the plan. #BS ----->
A first meeting about the plan took place in December, with Rutte, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Swedish prime minister Stefan Loefven, and Dutch EU commissioner Frans Timmermans.
Samsom noted he has been speaking “intensively” with Germany, Austria, and Sweden “because they have social-democrats in the government”.
“In the worst case scenario, only these countries plus a few like France, Spain, and Portugal take part,” he said, adding that France has been “dodging” the issue.
“When I call prime minister Valls [about the plan], he says 'interessant, tres interessant', and hopes I don't ask any further.”
While under the Samsom plan reluctant member states would not be forced to take up any refugees, they would have to pitch in financially. The plan, which he described as “the permanent [EU] asylum system”, would be funded from the EU budget.
For the plan to work and for illegal migrants to be sent back to Turkey “by return ferry”, Turkey would have to be considered a safe country by United Nations criteria. Hmmmm.......Why do i have the feeling that the EU population is watching a Kabuki theater performance? Read more here.
#Turkey PM @Ahmet_Davutoglu tells Turkish businesspeople in #Germany that hundreds of thousands of #Syrians will likely come to Germany— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) January 23, 2016