‘Secret’ German plan to resettle 500,000 Syrian refugees across Europe unveiled this week
SECRET plans to bring up to 500,000 Syrian refugees into the European Union (EU) from Turkey are to be unveiled by Germany this week.
According to the Hungarian prime minister, EU and Turkish leaders are set to announce a behind-the-scenes agreement to resettle hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the war in Syria.
It is not known how many of the 500,000 will arrive in Britain, but fears have been raised that a significant number could be drawn to the UK by its relatively generous welfare system.
It comes just days after the EU agreed a €3billion (£2.1bn) funding package for Turkey in return for their help in stemming the flow of migrants passing through on their way to Europe.
Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban warned of a “nasty surprise” for Europeans when the deal is announced in the coming days.
He said: “The issue [of resettlement] will be a hot potato in the coming period because even though this could be kept in a semi-secret state…someone somewhere – I think in Berlin this week – will announce that 400,000-500,000 Syrian refugees could be brought straight from Turkey to the EU.
“This nasty surprise still awaits Europeans.”
He added that EU nations would then be obliged to resettle them, with “intense” pressure to take in quotas of newly-arrived refugees.
Mr Orban continued: “We should not only bring these people to Europe but divide them amongst ourselves, as an obligation.”
“It will not be an easy one because obviously we cannot accept it like this.”
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban
The German parliament building in Berlin
Hungary has firmly resisted the idea of resettlement quotas to distribute more evenly the migrants, most of whom wanted to go to Germany or Sweden.
The agreement was reportedly floated at the recent EU summit in Malta but was abandoned and not included in the multi-billion pound EU-Turkey agreements signed at the weekend in Brussels after diplomats failed to gather the necessary support for it.
UKIP defence spokesman Mike Hookem MEP told Express.co.uk the plans were “utterly unacceptable” and Europe’s citizens were “being deliberately kept in the dark”.
“Poll after poll shows that immigration is the number one concern for voters in the UK and people in other EU countries are also upset at the number of migrants being foisted on them by foreign leaders.
“We were told yesterday in Brussels by an EU security adviser that Daesh [ISIS] could well be planning to use the community tensions from mass resettlement to their advantage by radicalising those who find themselves in neighbourhoods where they are not welcome.”
He added: “We’ve seen the problems in Sweden, Germany and France and we know the Schengen agreement makes our security easier to breach.
“It seems EU leaders are more concerned about migrants than the people who actually pay their wages.
“It looks to me like the genuine good will of people, including the British public who have always welcomed genuine refugees, is being exploited particularly if adequate security checks are not carried out.”
Ankara has said it is committed to choke off the route 700,000 asylum seekers have used this year alone from the Middle East and central Asia through Turkey to Europe.
Turkey is home to more than 2 million refugees as well as thousands of refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have been forced to leave their homes