A deal to try to bring about an end to the migrant crisis affecting Europe has been delayed again after talks in Brussels could not achieve a breakthrough.
European leaders said they had reached the outlines for a possible deal with Ankara to return thousands of migrants to Turkey and said they were confident a full agreement could be reached at a summit next week.
It comes after it was announced Turkey is seeking an extra three billion euros in aid under a deal with the EU to curb the flow of migrants to the continent, as revealed by European Parliament head Martin Schulz.
Although Turkey has complained it is yet to see any of these initial funds, a European source today said that if agreed, the extra money ‘would not be a blank check’ and would come with specific demands of the Turks.
‘The Turks have asked for more money: three billion euros before 2018,’ Mr Schulz said after attending an EU-Turkey summit dedicated to the migrant crisis. ‘It will require additional budgetary procedures. The European Parliament is prepared to speed up the procedures.’
It comes as Hungary plans to cut subsidies for refugees and drastically reduce the space available in migrant detention centres, in a move that a human rights body complains is aimed at forcing refugees to leave the country.
According to draft legislation published by the Hungarian government today, from April 1 those who were granted some kind of protection or asylum will be allowed to stay in a camp for only one month, instead of the current two months.
The decree also said the maximum space available in holding centres should be identical to that prescribed in prisons.