Turkey Wants €2b More in EU Aid

Turkey Wants €2b More in EU AidTurkey Wants €2b More in EU Aid

Turkey is demanding €2 billion more than the €3 billion already pledged by the EU to help it cope with refugees, a news report says.

This is while even the initial promises are proving hard for both sides to keep.

Turkey is demanding considerably more money from the European Union than was previously agreed to help improve conditions for refugees in the country, German daily “Welt” reported on Saturday.

“Ankara now wants €5 billion, but we are prepared only to give the promised €3 billion,” a high-ranking EU diplomat told the paper.

The EU pledged the €3 billion ($3.2 billion) in November as part of a deal under which Ankara was to receive the money to help protect its borders and provide better living conditions for refugees in the country, thus slowing the flow of migrants to Europe. In return, the pace of EU accession talks with Ankara was also to be stepped up, DW reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently reiterated the pledge of aid during a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Berlin.

However, no money has yet been paid amid wrangling within the EU, with Italy so far refusing to pay its share.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Friday during a visit to the German capital that he was waiting for Brussels to address his government’s concerns about the aid by next Thursday’s Syrian Donors Conference in London.

These include whether the money will come from EU coffers or whether member states will be expected to contribute individually.

The “Welt” said a further problem was that Ankara wanted to have more of a say in how the money was paid out, whereas Brussels wants the funds to be used for concrete projects, such as the building of schools. The EU also wants to maintain control of payments to ensure the money reaches refugees.