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Bulgaria Raises New 30Km Fence on Border with Greece and Turkey

fraxtis-708_0Fearing a new influx of refugees if Ankara cancels the agreement with the European Union, Bulgaria is raising a new fence on its border with Greece and Turkey.
According to a Deutsche Welle report, in the Bulgarian border town of Rezovo there is fear that a massive flow of migrants would try to enter the country from Turkey. Bulgarian authorities have decided to extend the fence on the border with Greece and Turkey by 30 kilometers in length and 3.5 meters in height.
Alongside, Sofia seeks to secure its southern border with Greece by raising a 484 kilometers fence. Bulgarian authorities are concerned that the closing of the Greece-Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia border might force migrants to enter the EU massively through Bulgaria. Sofia also seeks to maintain good neighborly relations with Turkey because of the Turkish minority in the country.
“The challenge, however, is not only to keep the channel of communication with Ankara open, but also to ensure that Turkey will not allow the free passage of refugees to Bulgaria,” said Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who, according to Deutsche Welle, discussed the issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by telephone.
Shortly afterwards it was announced that Bulgaria will receive an additional 6 million euros in aid from European funds. In addition, Frontex will contribute additional personnel, vehicles and special equipment, to aid Bulgarian authorities to deal with migrant traffickers.
The Bulgarian prime minister stated recently that each day border officials arrest 150-200 refugees who enter illegally and they are sent back to Turkey. The issue is on Borishov’s agenda and will be discussed when the prime minister will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on August 24 in Ankara.
Former head of Bulgarian border police Valeri Grigorov told DW that traffickers in the Bulgaria-Serbia border are so well organized that, “within 72 hours they can carry refugees from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Serbia.” Grigorov said that joint Greek-Bulgarian border guard patrols are necessary to effectively control the rough border region between the two countries.

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