Bulgaria Steps up Efforts to Curb Influx of Illegal Immigrants
Bulgaria will continue building the fence along its border witn Turkey meant to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, the government has decided.
The Interior Ministry should draft an engineering project and set a timeline for its implementation by 30 January, according to an action plan approved by the cabinet on Wednesday.
The Agriculture Ministry will continue the construction of new roads and the repair of the existing ones in the forest areas in southeastern Bulgaria along the border with Turkey to make patrolling by border guards more efficient.
The Defence Ministry will provide all-terrain military vehicles and logistical support to the Interior Ministry’s Border Police units patrolling the border, Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev said.
The controversial issue of potential deployment of Military Police units at the border to assist patrols by Interior Ministry staff hasn’t been discussed at the cabinet meeting, Nenchev added.
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said in parliament on Wednesday that Bulgaria will need about BGN 90M to build additional 82 km of fence along the border with Turkey. To provide the extra funding, he said, the parliament may have to authorize the government to increase spending under the 2015 budget.
The number of illegal immigrants who tried to enter into Bulgaria more than doubled last year compared to 2013, reaching 38,502, Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov said last week.
At the same time, the number of illegal migrants detained by police at Bulgaria’s border with Turkey nearly halved, decreasing to 6,023 in 2014 from 11,524 a year earlier.
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