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Refugee crisis continuing coverage

Most EU media continue to comment on the refugee crisis and report on the UN meeting on humanitarian crises and international aid that began on Monday in Istanbul. 50 heads of state and government as well as many non-governmental organisations participate in the event. Most attention is focused on one issue: the meeting of the host, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the agreement between the EU and Turkey. According to DR P1 Radioavisen, during the meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected Turkey’s wish for free visa by 1 July. De Tijd reports Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for a fairer distribution of the burden of the refugee crisis., Vakaro Zinios and report that Yigit Bulut, Financial adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, sent out a warning aimed at Germany, stating that Turkey would end its agreements with the EU should Germany continue to break its promises.

Meanwhile, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said in a newspaper interview that Turkey was turning into a one-man state, which was not compatible with the values of the EU, Ö1 writes. Publico adds that Martin Schulz claimed that the Turkish government’s resistance in changing its antiterrorist law is more than enough to suspend the controversial EU-Turkey agreement to stop the European incoming migrant flux. Some leader writers comment on the situation. An op-ed in Delo writes that it is uncertain whether President Erdoğan will even stay interested in the continuation of the refugee deal.

Nikolas Busse comments in FAZ that Europe’s negotiating position has improved due to the closing of the Balkan-route for refugees, which gives Turkey less diplomatic leverage. In an article in Berliner Zeitung, Jochen Arntz wonders whether Mr Erdoğan’s view really matters, urging the EU to adopt a more pragmatic approach as Turkey is securing the EU’s external border, a border which “we can hardly explain by arguing with our constitution’s moral values.” Moreover, EU Foreign Affairs ministers, meeting yesterday in Brussels, took several decisions in order to address the refugee crisis, several media report. The EU notably extended its naval mission in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia, for one year and pledged to train the Libyan coast guard in order to counter people smugglers. The Malta Independent quotes Vice-President and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini as saying that the training effort “will be very important to control Libya’s territorial waters, together with our Libyan partners, as well as to control the migrant influx.” Finally, Avvenire reports that the European Commission is aiming to present its new document on immigration at the summit at the end of June, drawn up by VP HR Federica Mogherini and First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

The Foreign Affairs Council decision reportedly marked the EU’s decisiveness to stop migrant smugglers through naval operations in the Mediterranean, comments. Meanwhile, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker told a conference of European Parliament speakers on Monday that “a continent of 508 million people should be able to integrate two million refugees,” and Bursa report. adds that Mr Juncker said he is “embarrassed” when talking to leaders in Jordan and Lebanon, which are poorer than most EU member states but have already taken in more refugees than the 28-country bloc. “Somebody who closes the door must expect people who flee from war and violence to enter through the window,” Mr Juncker added, as quoted by Luxemburger Wort. Greek media as well as El Pais, Soir Europe and The Wall Street Journal Europe report that Greece is to begin the process of closing the Idomeni migrant camp at the Macedonian border in northern Greece, which houses around 8,500 people. Around 6,000 new places have been prepared in camps in northern Greece, according to a government spokesperson. EC spokesman Margaritis Schinas stated that “the Commission welcomes any initiative taken by Greek authorities to evacuate Idomeni and move the migrants currently present in the camp to organized reception facilities,” the WSJE and Naftemporiki quote him as saying.




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