Thursday, September 24, 2015
EU pledges €1 BILLION for refugees – but Angela Merkel says it's NOT ENOUGH
The German chancellor has said the European leaders pledge to donate a staggering €1 billion to Middle East countries, which thousands of refugees are fleeing, is a first step but "we are still far from where we need to be". As the EU's member states promised the massive amount of taxpayers' cash, Angela Merkel said the continent it cannot shirk its responsibility, with warnings of the "greatest tide of migrants yet to arrive in Europe. She said:" In the face of a major challenge, Europe can't just say: we will not deal with this. That would completely wrong. "We have to find answers together." The extra money will be allotted to help refugees displaced in countries neighbouring war-ravaged Syria, taking the UK's contribution in the region to a massive £1.1 billion.It came after David Cameron had already committed an extra £115 million to tackle the emergency ahead of the summit in Brussels. Heads of state were locked in talks for more than five hours as they attempted to overcome bitter divisions to secure a unified response to the migrant crisis. As part of the settlement, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and other countries dealing with refugees fleeing the horrors of the Syrian civil war will also receive greater injections of EU assistance, through a "substantial increase" in the EU's Regional Trust Fund. As the meeting began, Mr Cameron said: "We need to do more to stabilize the countries and the regions from which these people are coming."More than five hours after the meeting started, European Council president Donald Tusk announced proposals for more than one billion euros would be mobilised to ease the crisis. He said leaders agreed to give extra help to countries neighbouring Syria such as Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.Mr Tusk said: "It is clear that the greatest tide of refugees and migrants is yet to come. Therefore we need to correct the policy of open doors and windows. "Leaders also agreed that the current chaos at our external borders must end." He added: "The measures we have agreed today will not end the crisis but they are all necessary steps in the right direction."The leaders also agreed to beef up border controls by providing more resources, including personnel and equipment from their countries, to help the EU's border agency Frontex, Europol and other EU organizations. By November, member states like Italy or Greece, that have been swamped with large numbers of arriving migrants, will be able to ask for deployment of new EU dedicated teams that will assist local authorities in identifying, fingerprinting and registering the people arriving. The EU summit called for a "renewed UN-led international effort" to end the raging war in Syria, which it said has driven an estimated 12 million people from their homes. The leaders said: "The EU commits to doing its part in this respect." To broker peace in Syria, Mrs Merkel took a swipe saying: "You have to talk to a lot of actors, and that includes (President Bashar) Assad."Following the meeting, Mr Tusk said they had taken a step in the right direction - but warned the largest amount of migrants "is yet to come" and said the policy of "open doors and windows" must be corrected. The PM called on leaders to adopt a "comprehensive approach" and said more needs to be done in nations which have seen dramatic exoduses - in an effort to stop the thousands entering Europe. He said: "We need to do more to stabilise the countries and regions from which these people are coming."