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EU Needs to Increase Refugee Funds to Turkey beyond Current Pledges - German EU Commissioner - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A Syrian girl rides a bus towards Turkey to the Bab Al-Salam border crossing, in Darat Izza, Aleppo countryside, Syria February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

A Syrian girl rides a bus towards Turkey to the Bab Al-Salam border crossing, in Darat Izza, Aleppo countryside, Syria February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

Germany’s European Union Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Saturday that the European Union may need to more than double financial aid already pledged to Turkey to help it keep millions of Syrian refugees fleeing the five-year-old civil war on its soil.

The European Commission on Friday announced the first payouts from a 3 billion euro ($3.3 billion) fund to help Turkey pay for the needs of around 2.5 million refugees.

“Europe should hold out the prospect of further financial support to Turkey also beyond 2017,” Oettinger told German magazine Der Spiegel.

“Taking over full costs of the services that Turkey is providing by accommodating and caring for the refugees, the bill could easily add up to six or seven billion euros per year,” said Oettinger, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right party Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann suggested a new EU fund to finance the additional costs. “In the migrant crisis, we need joint European solutions,” Faymann told the magazine.

“Therefore I suggest a fund in which each EU member state pays in, similar to the bank bailout. The money should be used to cover the costs of providing for the asylum seekers.”

European Council President Donald Tusk, who on Friday held talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, will chair an emergency EU summit with Turkey on Monday intended for consolidating cooperation to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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