16:58 GMT24 June 2021
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    European countries are increasingly opposing Angela Merkel's refugee plan to deport migrants to Turkey. While Merkel's adherents have suddenly started to praise Turkey as a model country in terms of human rights, other states have expressed serious concerns about the new tendency, German newspaper Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) wrote.

    The criticism of the recent Turkey-EU deal is rapidly growing. The UN Human Rights Commissioner earlier said that the planned mass deportations from Greece are "illegal."

    According to him, restrictions on the admission of individual refugees without a thorough examination would be a "violation of international and European law."

    Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg also expressed certain reservations regarding the deal.

    For instance, Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn stressed that the plan must be thoroughly checked "legally, politically, and also from the human point of view".

    The Turks are "very distant from European values and principles of Europe," Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said, commenting on Turkey's possible entry into the EU, while Austrian authorities called the new deal "extremely questionable".

    However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chief of the Chancellery Peter Altmaier have repeatedly defended the new agreement. In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Altmaier said that Turkey is a more reliable partner in tackling the refugee crisis than some EU countries.

    According to Altmaier, in the current situation Turkey has demonstrated a more "European behavior than some countries in Europe." The current plan offers "the real chance to solve the refugee crisis without abandoning our humanitarian demands," the politician stressed.

    Earlier this week, Turkey announced its readiness to accept all new refugees arriving in Greece. In return, Ankara awaits assistance on the introduction of a visa-free regime for its citizens and further negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU.


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