PM Borisov: Bulgaria Doesn't Want to Get into Roma Rhetoric
Bulgaria does not want to take part in the heated rhetoric around France's campaign to oust Roma, stated Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov at the European Council.
"We don't want to get involved in something that could obstruct our entry in the Schengen area," stated Borisov when asked by journalists what Bulgaria's position was.
The entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen Area, which is expected 2011, has in no way been officially linked to the issue of Roma being repatriated to the two countries by France.
But French officials, in particular EU minister Pierre Lellouche, have suggested that France might choose to do so over security issues.
In the past week Romania has voiced concern about France's measures, and has held a number of bilateral meetings of high-ranking officials.
Bulgarian authorities, on the other hand, have stayed acceptive and have even stated that France has right to expell individuals who violate French legislation.
"French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised to me that Bulgaria will not be viewed together with Romania," stated Bulgarian PM Borisov Thursday.
Borisov also reported on a heated exchange of words between Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Barroso.
"A lot of opinions were heard at the summit, but the opinion that prevailed is that Roma are nomadic tribes that should be given the opprotunity to travel around Europe," stated the Bulgarian PM.
Borisov had voiced similar worries that taking part in the Roma rhetoric could threaten Bulgaria's Schengen entry Wednesday at an EPP summit in preparation of the European Council.
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