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Friday, October 16, 2015 2:29 PM

Bargaining With the Devil: Germany Bribes Turkey With Aid Package, EU Sidelines Highly Critical Report on Turkey’s Free Speech Record

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If it takes bribes and turning a blind eye to blatant corruption to get a needed favor, then one can expect bribes and two blind eyes.

The Bribes

In order to slow Syrian refugees entering Europe, Merkel Backs Multibillion-Euro Refugee Package for Turkey.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has backed giving Turkey a multibillion-euro aid package to cope with refugees, giving impetus to a provisional EU deal with Ankara that aims to slow the flow of migrants to the EU.

Commission officials briefed EU ambassadors on Thursday on the Turkish requirements for completing the terms of the action plan, including €3bn in fresh funds; unblocking about five chapters in Turkey’s EU membership negotiations; and visa-free access for 75m Turks to the Schengen border-free area from as soon as 2016.

Mr Erdogan also made clear that Turkey would expect to be included in an EU “safe list”, which would make it easier to reject Turkish asylum seekers.

In return, Turkey pledges strengthen its border controls — including greater co-operation with Greece, which has seen a massive influx of refugees from the region.

In exchange for visa privileges, Turkey would complete a “readmission” deal to take back third-country asylum seekers that entered the EU from Turkish territory. Turkey would eventually also give the 2m Syrian refugees a legal route to make a living in Turkey, reducing the incentives to attempt to enter Europe.
Blind Eyes: EU Buries Highly Critical Report on Turkey’s Free Speech Record

Also consider EU sidelines Critical Report as it Seeks Migration Deal.
Brussels has privately signalled that it will shunt publication of a highly critical report on Turkey’s free speech record until after its election in November, as the EU scrambles to keep Ankara on-board with a plan to stem migration.

One EU ambassador quipped that it had been delayed “at the whim of the Sultan” — Mr Erdogan. “This is not healthy,” he said.

A visit to Turkey by Angela Merkel tomorrow will highlight Europe’s desire to engage Mr Erdogan on migration, even amid a fraught election campaign that has seen increasing intimidation of media.

Ms Merkel asked that her visit be to Istanbul rather than Ankara, in part to avoid an awkward photo op with Mr Erdogan at his 1,100-room presidential palace. It is yet to be decided whether the two leaders will hold a joint press conference.
Bargaining With the Devil

Bribes and blind eyes cannot fix problems caused by absurd policies. The refugee problem is simple: There is an unlimited demand for free food, free shelter, and free services.

If Turkey does not deserve easing of EU restrictions, then sweetheart deals easing them can only cause additional problems.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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