Bulgaria to Rebuild Cold War Turkey Border Fence 2012

Diplomacy | August 24, 2011, Wednesday // 11:47|  views

Hundreds of domestic animals are to be slaughtered in southeast Bulgaria over the latest outbreak of FMD. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria will start building its border fence with Turkey no earlier than the beginning of 2012, it was made clear Wednesday.

The Bulgarian government had initially intended to have the fence built by October 2011.

A total of 21 companies are competing in a public procurement for designing the fence. The facility's construction will be financed by the Bulgarian state budget and is expected to cost approximately BGN 7 M, the Dnevnik daily reports.

The decision for the fence's construction came after a number of villages in the remote Strandzha region in south-east Bulgaria bordering on Turkey experienced severe outbreaks of FMD, leading to the destruction of hundreds of heads of livestock.

Officials said they believed the disease was spread from flares in Turkey by wild animals roaming the Strandzha Mountain forests.

In the Cold War period the Bulgarian-Turkish border was a border between the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact and NATO, and as such was one of the most-heavily fortified borders in Europe. Since the early 1990s, Bulgaria has torn down its border fortifications and has ever dismissed its Third Army, which was deployed in the area.

Bulgaria's intention to build a new fence on its Turkish border comes as Greece is also planning a similar measure but designed to tackle the influx of illegal immigrants from the Middle East via Turkey.

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Tags: BORDER FENCE, turkey, fmd, fence, livestock, Strandzha, animals


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