Bulgaria says ready to erect fence on border with Greece

25 March 2016
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Bulgaria is ready to build a fence on its border with Greece to keep out migrants amid fears they could head its way after the Western Balkan route was closed, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said on Friday.

Parliament last month voted to let its army assist police in guarding the European Union member’s borders to avoid a refugee influx that has overwhelmed some of its neighbors. Bulgaria shares a border with Greece to its south that is about 500 km (310 miles) long.

“The main threat is coming from the Greek border,” Borisov told parliament on Friday. “It is very long and unprotected, and our concern is that the Greek government did not take measures in recent months. We are ready to erect a barrier if necessary.”

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that a fence should be erected on the borders between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Bulgaria with Greece to curb the inflow of migrants into Europe.

Earlier this month, Bulgaria and its neighbor FYROM to the west held joint air and land operations along their common border to ensure control of it amid an increased flow of migrants.

On Thursday, Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev requested an additional 1.5 million levs ($860,000) to provide essential equipment to army personnel taking part in border protection and control jointly with police.

In November 2013, Bulgaria started building a barbed wire fence along its border with Turkey. Almost 100 km of the planned 166 km fence have already been erected.

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