Bulgarian government provides more firewood for border police facing winter migrant crossings
Bulgaria’s cabinet agreed on February 18 to provide additional firewood to police on duty at border areas where there are high levels of illegal migration.
The decision was taken after media reports about the harsh conditions, including poor arrangements for heating, of police patrolling Bulgaria’s border with Turkey. Off-duty police, instead of resting, had to forage for firewood because supplies were insufficient, reports showed.
Further, officials believe that the coming weeks will bring more increases in illegal crossings, on top of an already growing increase.
According to a cabinet statement, the government instructed the Agriculture Ministry to provide an additional 300 cubic metres of firewood for Interior Ministry officials on duty at the southern border.
The decision amended one taken in October 2014, which provided for 4000 cubic metres of firewood.
In December 2014, a Bulgarian border policeman died after a lorry he was driving fell into a ravine near the Turkish border, a result of extremely poor road conditions.
The death caused outrage about the poor working conditions of border police, and government moves to have border police on duty transported in military vehicles more suited to the harsh conditions.