Refugees are desperate to escape war and go to Europe – and EU leaders are increasingly desperate to keep them out.
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Europe's emerging migration policy is looking increasingly like Donald Trump without the hair.Under fierce political pressure in her own conservative camp and from an insurgent right-wing populist party, the Alternative for Germany, Merkel's mantra of "We can do this" is morphing into "The Turks can do this for us".In a surprise overnight deal she negotiated with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu last week, Ankara offered to take back all migrants, including Syrian refugees, who cross from its shores into Europe from now on or are intercepted off its coast.Having thus sealed its most porous border to irregular migrants, the EU would admit a limited number of carefully vetted Syrian refugees directly from Turkey – one for each Syrian asylum seeker Ankara took back from Greek Aegean islands.Another summit in Brussels this week is due to conclude the Faustian bargain, granting Turkey 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in aid to keep refugees on its soil, an accelerated path to visa-free travel for Turks and faster EU membership talks in return for its agreement to act as Europe's gatekeeper.Human rights groups and volunteers who work with refugees are outraged to see Europe slamming shut its open door for victims of war and persecution.Turkey restricts its application of the Geneva Convention to refugees from Europe.If the pact with Turkey goes through as conceived, the EU will be retreating into a "fortress Europe" policy for fear of its own Trumps.
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