Wednesday, March 9, 2016

"We are giving the keys of Europe to Sultan Erdogan" liberal ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt.


"We are giving the keys of Europe to Sultan Erdogan" liberal ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt. (HLN). (ALDEgroup)
"We give the entrance keys to the gates of Europe to the successors of the Ottoman Empire: to Erdogan, Sultan Erdogan."
 During today's debate on the EU-Turkey agreement, ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt voiced strong criticism:

"We need practical arrangements with Turkey, but with this deal we try to outsource our problems. We give the entrance keys to the gates of Europe to the successors of the Ottoman Empire: to Erdogan, Sultan Erdogan."

Agreement goes against Geneva Convention

"Europeans will block all refugees who are looking for protection and it will be Turkey and Erdogan who will decide on an individual basis who is a political refugee and who is not, who can enter in Europe and who not."

"I find this hugely problematic. This is a type of collective 'refoulement' forbidden by the Convention of Geneva."

" Turkey has not fully adhered to the Geneva Convention and is rapidly falling into autocracy."

Agreement will not reduce smuggling

"This agreement will dramatically reduce the legal entry points into the Union,  forcing desperate refugees to look for other routes. We will see again the revival of the Lampedusa route. A new Malta route. A new Albanian route. A new Bulgarian route."

ALDE Vice President Sophie in 't Veld said: 

"The EU-Turkey deal is not a sign of strength, but a sign of weakness of the European Union. This deal is morally reprehensible. the fruit of short-term thinking, not a solution for the long term. Apparently the national leaders prefer a dubious deal with an authoritarian leader, rather than to show courage, vision and to take responsibility for a fully-fledged and sustainable European asylum policy."

Three pillars necessary to get a grip on the crisis

Verhofstadt urged the Council to roll out a European strategy based on three pillars:

1.    A Common border and coast guard - to manage our borders: To register the arrival of the refugees, to make the distinction between real refugees and economic migrants and to manage the reception centres.
2.    Use the 3 billion directly in the camps in Turkey. Not to give this to Turkish authorities or to international organizations but directly to the refugees who have to live today with 7 dollars
3.    An EU asylum and migration policy, including a relocation mechanism: "What we do with this deal is not changing or abolishing the Dublin regulation but it puts Turkey inside Dublin." 

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