Penniless Bulgaria to Give Up Building Turkish Border FMD Fence

Diplomacy | April 17, 2012, Tuesday // 20:12|  views

A watchtower is seen behind a wire fence on the border between Bulgaria and Turkey near Kapitan Andreevo border crossing point some 300km from Sofia, 11 February 2011. EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria's government will reverse its decision to build a fence along its border with Turkey, a measure which was supposed to tackle the infiltration of foot-and-mouth disease-infected animals.

This has been announced Tuesday night by the press service of the Bulgarian Council of Ministers, ahead of the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday.

The announcement states that regardless of the convincing evidence provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Foods, the Bulgarian government will decided against restoring the Cold War-era fences on the border with Turkey as an anti-FMD measure because the project has turned out to be too costly.

The 181-km border fence is estimated to cost a total of BGN 28 M (almost EUR 14 M), and the Bulgarian government has nowhere to come up with the money.

"This sum is four times the sum originally approved by the Bulgarian government. What is more, there will be a need for additional funding in order to compensate land owners, and to maintain and control the new facility," the Bulgarian government press service said.

Another issue complicating the project for a FMD fence on the border with Turkey is the fact that it will have to cross nine protected areas, which would require additional environmental reports.

Bulgaria's Cabinet decided to go for restoring the Cold War-era fence on the border with Turkey in 2011, after an outbreak of FMD in Southeastern Bulgaria was blamed on the infiltration of infected wild animals coming from Turkey.

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Tags: turkey, Turkish border, Bulgarian-Turkish border, fmd, foot-and-mouth disease, BORDER FENCE, Agriculture Ministry


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