Bulgaria to ask EU leaders for €160 million to police border

Borissov and Orbán speak to the press near the border fence with Turkey. [Government of Bulgaria] [Government of Bulgaria]

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has slammed the EU for lack of solidarity and said he will request leaders at tomorrow’s EU summit in Bratislava for the immediate release of €160 million of aid for strengthening the country’s borders.

Borissov made the statements yesterday (14 September) alongside his Hungarian colleague Viktor Orbán, who came to see the new razor-wire fences in the border village of Lesovo, the beginning of what will be a 259-kilometer (160 mile) barrier along the Turkish border.

“Bulgaria is entitled to this money – 160 million euro. Bulgarians need to hear it. We are tired of hearing: you are not alone, we are with you, together we can do more,” said Borissov in his typical style.

“Last week the Greeks got 165 million. Of course, the Commissioner is Greek”, he said, with reference to Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.

Borissov: 'Absolute non-solidarity' reigns in the EU

The Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov made use of anti-EU rhetoric ahead of a visit to Turkey tomorrow (26 August), describing Ankara as Sofia’s only ally in the context of the refugee crisis.

Orbán voiced admiration for the way Bulgaria had secured its border with Turkey.

“It is not possible that the EU would agree to pay €3 billion to Turkey, which is not an EU country, and not assist Bulgaria with €160 million,” he said, quoted by the Bulgarian press.

Orbán fully backed his Bulgarian counterpart. “Bulgaria is protecting itself very seriously, there is no naivety here, there is no European empty talk here. Here we face reality. The biggest problem for the EU is the naivety on which Brussels politics are based, which brought to Europe over one million migrants,” he said.

Speaking further about Brussels’ ways of dealing with the migration crisis, he said: “The road to hell is littered with pebbles of goodwill”.

Orbán was then asked to comment on the controversial statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, Jean Assleborn, who recently said Hungary should be expelled from the EU. He said: “We don’t accept a former Communist to teach democracy to a country who fought Communism for 40 years”.

Luxembourg foreign minister wants Hungary out of EU

Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, has called for Hungary to be thrown out of the European Union. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Bulgaria, already strapped for money and accommodation to provide for refugees, has come under fire for the conditions asylum seekers are forced to endure within the country.

Some 13,000 refugees have been registered in Bulgaria since the start of 2016, and authorities have reported that the number in August was double that of previous months.

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