Bulgaria Needs EUR 150M to Stop Illegal Migrants Crossing from Turkey
Bulgaria needs at least BGN 150M to halt the influx of illegal migrants across its border with Turkey and will seek financial assistance from the European Commission to tackle the issue, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Wednesday.
To provide the required funding to the Interior Ministry, the government has either to slash spending at other ministries, or revise the 2015 budget, which would entail an increase in budget deficit, Borisov said at a cabinet meeting.
He also said the army could provide logistical support to border police units but the deployment of military personnel at the border to help police has never been discussed by the government.
According to Borisov, Bulgaria needs BGN 40-50M to finance the ongoing construction of the fence along its border with Turkey that should help direct the flow of illegal migrants to the official border crossings.
“As a member of the European Union and a candidate to join the Schengen area we strictly adhere to our commitments towards the refugees,” said Borisov.
The number of illegal migrants who tried to enter into Bulgaria more than doubled to 38,502 last year compared to 2013, Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov said at the cabinet meeting. 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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