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European countries to Turkey: We pay, you keep Syrian refugees

Syrian refugees are the new ping-pong between EU countries and Turkey.

European countries face an acute refugee crisis. According to the BBC, more than 100,000 people from the Middle East and North Africa reached the European Union’s borders in July alone. More than half a million are expected to arrive by the end of 2015. Yet, even after months of paralysis and several thousand dead refugees (more than 70 of them in the back of a truck in Austria on Aug. 27), Europe still lacks a coherent response to the plight of people fleeing war, famine and deprivation.

Last week, Denmark’s Liberal Party government offered to pay Turkey to halt Syrian refugees who want to come to Europe. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had a more humane suggestion: build camps in Italy, Greece and Turkey — the first stops for refugees whose ultimate destination is western and northern Europe — “to sort through migrants seeking asylum.” The German minister said Syrian refugees could go to EU countries from the Turkish camps based on the quotas that the European Commission assigned to individual member states.

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