Last week I pointed out that Turkey was effectively holding the entire European Union to ransom over the refugee crisis in that continent, and that this was, in so many words, payback for all the slights the EU had inflicted on Turkey.
It seems the ransom demands worked.
EU leaders offered Ankara a host of long-sought sweeteners in exchange for shutting borders that have let 350,000 people enter Europe since January.
Angela Merkel said the EU had agreed to open a "new chapter" in accession talks to the bloc after decades of delays, adding that the EU was looking at a "ballpark" of €3 billion [about US $3.4 billion].
Given Turkey has spent seven billion addressing the migrant crisis it "makes sense" for EU states to contribute, the German chancellor said.
"We cannot organise or stem the refugee movements without working with Turkey," said Mrs Merkel, who is due to visit Turkey at the weekend for talks about the crisis and Syria with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president.
Turkey is the main launching point for the more than 600,000 migrants who have entered Europe this year.
. . .
Turkey signalled it would drive a hard bargain, saying it would do nothing until a visa deal is on the table. Turkish officials presented their EU counterparts with a "wish list" during talks in Ankara on Thursday.
Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish prime minister, stressed he wanted swifter moves towards visa-free travel to Europe in exchange for Ankara keeping more refugees on its soil.
There's more at the link.
Having decided (or, rather, been forced) to pay the Dane-geld, one wonders whether the EU will now ever be rid of the
(To provide context to US readers who haven't been following the situation in Europe: this 'solution' is akin to the US paying Mexico to slow down the movement of people from other nations through its territory, allowing them access to the US border to invade this country as illegal aliens. Payment would be partly in [lots of] cash, partly by way of many more visas to allow more Mexicans to legally enter the US.)