BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government does not expect Turks to get visa-free entry into the European Union before 2017 because Ankara will not fulfil the conditions for that by the end of this year, newspaper Bild cited sources in Berlin as saying on Monday.
Turkey and the EU have been discussing visa liberalisation since 2013 and agreed in March to press ahead with it as part of a deal to stop the flow of illegal migrants from Turkey to the EU. EU officials and diplomats say the EU is set to miss an end-June deadline due to a dispute over Turkish anti-terrorism law.
A spokeswoman for the German government could not immediately comment on the report.
Turkey’s government says it has already met the EU’s criteria for visa-free travel.
A Forsa poll for German newspaper Handelsblatt showed that almost two-thirds of Germans disagree with the EU-Turkey deal that Chancellor Angela Merkel spearheaded efforts to secure as her popularity waned due to her liberal migrant policy.
Asked in a Forsa poll for German newspaper Handelsblatt “Do you think Merkel’s Turkey politics are right?” 59 percent said ‘no’ while 31 percent said ‘yes’.
The survey showed that 44 percent of Germans want Merkel to remain chancellor after a 2017 national election while 47 percent do not.
While some politicians have suggested the influx of migrants could be a solution to a skilled labor shortage in Germany, most Germans are not convinced: asked whether they thought the majority of refugees could be integrated into the German labor market, 56 percent said ‘no’ and 38 percent ‘yes’.
The poll of 1,002 people was carried out on May 17-18.
Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Toby Chopra