Refugee Crisis: Eastern European leaders want protection for Bulgaria

Written by on September 10, 2016 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Refugee Crisis: Eastern European leaders want protection for Bulgaria

Donald Tusk is the latest Eastern European politician to demand help for Bulgaria in the refugee crisis. The European Council President said he would ask the EU leaders to send more guards and equipment to Bulgaria, since the poorest EU country needed help for the protection of its southern border with Turkey. The heads of government will meet next week, in Bratislava.

Since the Bulgarian government has demanded help in its attempts to curb the flow of so-called “illegal migrants” into the country, the Czech Republic and Hungary have promised aid. The European border protection agency Frontex already sent more than 100 guards, and Greek border guards are protecting the Turkish-Bulgarian border with their Bulgarian colleagues.

At a news conference with Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas, Tusk said: “I will appeal to all 27 leaders to send concrete operational support to Bulgaria to protect its border with Turkey, in the form of border guards and equipment,” according to Estonian media reports.

Other countries in the Southern Balkans region are preparing for a possible new influx of refugees, since they fear the E.U. Turkey Deal might be cancelled by Turkey. Ankara has threatened to “flood Europe with refugees”.

Last year, thousands of refugees per day moved towards Western Europe on the so-called Balkan Route, which included Macedonia and Serbia. Most refugees tried to avoid Bulgaria, due to reports about abuse and incarcerations.

(Photo of Tusk: EC Audiovisual Service)

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Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com