Angela Merkel gave a defiant interview last night in which she defended her handling of the refugee crisis. She declared, ‘I have no Plan B’—worryingly, I suspect this is true.
But how much worse the refugee crisis could become worse is made clear in leaked minutes of a meeting between the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker. As Bloomberg columnist Marc Champion points out, Erdogan is determined to get far more out of the EU than the 3 billion Euros it is currently offering. He tells them that if the offer is for only 3 billion, the conversation might as well end there: “We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses.” He warns them that if Turkey opens its borders, there won’t just be the body of one dead boy on a beach but 10 to 15 thousand.
What this leak shows is how hard it will be to get a functional EU Turkey deal. And if Erdogan carries out his threats, which is unlikely but not impossible, the migrant crisis will enter a new and even more dangerous phase.
Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.