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Borisov Gets Slovakia's Support for Bulgarian Schengen Bid

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | November 12, 2012, Monday // 18:10| Views: 1992 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Borisov Gets Slovakia's Support for Bulgarian Schengen Bid Bulgaria PM Boyko Borisov (L) met Monday in Bratislava with his Slovakian counterpart Robert Fico (R). Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has argued that Bulgaria should have been admitted into Schengen a long time ago if its success in guarding EU borders had been truly taken into account.

Speaking after a meeting with his Slovakian counterpart Robert Fico in Bratislava, Borisov suggested that Bulgaria was the sole reliable border of the EU with Turkey, adding that the country was spending huge amounts of money to resist migration pressure from Syria.

Borisov told representatives of Bulgarian and Slovakian media outlets that Bulgaria was already guarding the Schengen border, suffering disadvantages as an actual Schengen Member State.

"We have not fulfilled 99% of the criteria; we have fulfilled 100% of the criteria. If they introduce 120% criteria, Slovakia will have to fulfill them too," Bulgaria's Prime Minister cautioned.

"You can sleep calm, Bulgaria is doing a wonderful job," Borisov declared.

Slovakia's Prime Minister in turn assured that his country backed Bulgaria's accession to Schengen

"If all EU Member States complied with Maastricht criteria on external debt and budget deficit as Bulgaria does, Europe would have avoided the financial crisis," Borisov reasoned.

"Three countries - Finland, Denmark, and Bulgaria - observe Maastricht criteria. If all did, there would have been no financial and debt crisis in Europe. All would have had budget deficits below 3% of GDP. Bulgaria is second in Europe by low external debt and has a budget deficit of less than 2%" Borisov emphasized at the press conference, as cited by dnevnik.bg.

The talks between the Prime Ministers of Bulgaria and Slovakia revolved around tourism, energy, the automotive industry, and agriculture, according to reports of the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA).

Borisov and Fizo announced that the Bulgarian and Slovakian governments would hold a joint session in May 2013.

On Tuesday Borisov and Fico will head for Brussels to attend a meeting of the Prime Ministers and Representatives of the Friends of Cohesion Group.

The Friends of Cohesion Group formed seven years ago, during the negotiations about the previous EU budget for 2007-2013, in order to coordinate the positions of countries that are the main beneficiaries of the cohesion policy.

The Group consists of 15 Member States: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

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Tags: Schengen Accession, Schengen, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Robert Fico, Maastricht criteria
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