Published: Sat, October 21, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

European Union to cut funds earmarked for Turkey to join bloc

European Union to cut funds earmarked for Turkey to join bloc

Her remarks come amid reports the United Kingdom has agreed to foot the divorce bill of 40 billion euros (US$47 billion).

But on Friday the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, suggested in a tweet that bloc's other 27 leaders meeting in Brussels had agreed to begin preparations for trade talks even though not enough progress has been made on the terms of the divorce. Foes and allies alike said she emerged weakened from the election, blamed her for the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany party and said she'll be distracted by talks to form the first-ever national coalition with the free-market liberals and Greens that could last until Christmas.

The shortfall will make all the more hard the tricky three-way pact, dubbed a "Jamaica" coalition because the three parties' colours - black, yellow, and green - match those of the Jamaican flag, which is untried at a national level.

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Under the existing framework, the Turkish government was scheduled to receive around 4.4 billion euros (5.2 billion US dollars) between 2014 and 2020. "So we need a stable government".

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said May's speech on Thursday was "her best performance yet", but that he believed "it hasn't really changed anything from before that".

Although Merkel previously made several statements implying that Turkey's 12-year accession talks should be ended, this time she says she wants to keep talking to Turkey and "avoid a showdown".

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He also stressed the significance of strengthening the funding mechanism for the refugees in Turkey and noted the need for cooperation between the European Union and Ankara on the refugee problem to continue.

Now that dominance is waning - her conservatives last month registered their weakest election result since 1949. "These possible partners should not be giving the impression that they are inching warily toward each other like strangers in a crammed lift". "The British taxpayer wouldn't expect its government to do anything else", she added.

Alternatively, she could try to team up again with the SPD. The Social Democrats reject that scenario, though senior party official Thomas Oppermann has indicated they could reconsider on one condition: Merkel steps aside.

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