Merkel and Dutch PM accused of secret plot to offer Turkey more cash behind EU’s back

Turkey: Von Der Leyen 'could have been set up' says expert

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According to the former adviser and speechwriter to then-European Council President Donald Tusk, the German Chancellor and the Dutch Prime Minister offered Turkey more money for the EU migration deal signed with the Mediterranean country. Hugo Brady, who now works for the International Centre for Migration Policy Development in Vienna, claimed the alleged concealed deal between Ms Merkel and Mr Rutte on the EU side and the then Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and was done in 2016 behind Mr Tusk’s back.

In an essay for the Groupe d’études géopolitiques think tank, Mr Brady wrote: “[Rutte] unilaterally offered Davutoğlu double the financial settlement (€6 billion).”

Those who were in the room at the time deny Mr Brady’s account.

An official told Politico: “The financial graph was left to the Commission.”

At the latest EU summit, member states’ leaders considered EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s proposal to increase the sum given to Turkey by €3.5 billion in exchange for keeping refugees from crossing into the EU.

Italian MEP Marco Campomenosi, leader of the Lega group in the European Parliament, was outraged by Mr Brady’s claim.

He told Express.co.uk: “If what emerges is true, namely that Merkel and Rutte in 2016 would have secretly granted more money than European citizens to Turkey without even consulting the other member states, it would be very serious but I would not be surprised at all.

“Unfortunately, this does not surprise us, it is no mystery that the governments of Germany and the Netherlands, aligned with the majority that have ruled in the EU for years, aim to stem the migratory phenomenon only where it interests them, or on the Balkan route, abandoning on the other hand countries like Italy, which must manage the emergency in the Mediterranean on their own.

“Allocating a shower of billions of euros to Sultan Erdogan, which will soon be followed by an extra €3.5 billion by Von der Leyen, did not help solve the problem, on the contrary, it increased the Turkish regime’s ability to keep Europe in check and perpetually under blackmail.

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“Instead of solving the problem, the events of recent years confirm that Merkel and Rutte have further complicated things: the European citizens are at the expense of it.

“It will be important that the Italian Government resume as soon as possible, unfortunately with its own strength, the path undertaken by Matteo Salvini to reject those who have no right to enter Europe and which, since he is no longer Minister, has been interrupted.

“Furthermore, Mario Draghi will have to make Brussels understand how important it is to start negotiations with the new Libyan government as soon as possible based on clear and precise commitments to avoid reaching a wrong, expensive and counterproductive agreement like the one in force for years with Ankara.”

At the beginning of June, the Commission announced that a package of over €14billion (£12billion) for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework period has been agreed between the European Parliament and the European Council to fund Turkey and the Western Balkans.

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The eye-watering financial package will serve as an instrument to support potential new members of the EU prepare with their paths towards membership.

The agreement will now be translated into legal texts, which will need to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council.

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, said: “This long-awaited agreement on our ambitious financing assistance is a positive, welcome and strong signal for the Western Balkans and Turkey.

“The agreed package is a solid investment in the future of the enlargement region and the EU, supporting the implementation of key political, institutional, social and economic reforms to comply with EU standards and progressively align with its rules and policies.

“It will provide funding for the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, a key tool to underpin the economic recovery of this priority region.

“Through investments in key sectors including connectivity, infrastructure, environment and climate, as well as energy and digital, it will boost the convergence with the EU and bring tangible benefits for citizens.”

The package will provide support to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey with an overall budget of €14.162 billion in current prices for 2021-2027, starting retroactively from January 1, 2021.

In Turkey’s case, the funds will also serve to keep refugees from crossing into the EU.

Express.co.uk contacted the German and Dutch Government press offices for comment

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