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Crucial EU-Turkey Summit today in Brussels

Today the two crucial issues for Greece, the refugee crisis and the economy, will be discussed in Brussels at the European Summit and the Eurogroup meeting respectively.

Turkish and EU leaders will gather in Brussels for an emergency summit on tackling Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War Two, as the BBC notes.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet today with Nikos Anastasiades, Mark Rutte, Ahmet Davutoglou and Angela Merkel ahead of the EU-Turkey Summit.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met their Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, at the Turkish embassy in Brussels late on Sunday to prepare for the summit.

The 28 EU states are expected to ask Turkey to take back thousands of migrants who do not qualify for asylum, in an attempt to close the Balkan route for migrants heading north.

The summit in Brussels is seen as a decisive moment in Europe’s efforts to get to grips with a migration crisis that is on the brink of turning into a humanitarian catastrophe. Every day between 1,000 to 2,000 people are landing on Greece’s shores, while more than 35,000 refugees and migrants are trapped in Greece, unable to travel north as a result of closed borders.

At the heart of the Summit is speeding up work on a joint action plan agreed with Turkey last year, aimed at keeping refugees outside Europe. The EU pledged €3bn to help feed and shelter the nearly 3 million refugees living in Turkey, as well as easing visa restrictions for 75 million Turks and breathing new life into long-stalled talks on joining the EU. In return Ankara pledged to crack down on people smugglers and stem the flow of people travelling to Europe, The Guardian Reports.

Several months on, the pact remains little more than a piece of paper. EU officials have sounded increasingly impatient with Turkey’s failure to reduce migrant crossings, while Turkey was unimpressed with European bickering over the money. The EU has now written out its €3bn cheque, but the funding has not yet been turned into refugee aid projects.

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