Bulgaria President: We Guard European Borders Better than Some EU CountriesBulgaria in EU | January 30, 2013, Wednesday // 15:54| views
In an interview for Le Nouvel Observateur, Plevneliev suggests that Bulgaria is better at guarding European borders than a number of EU Member States. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria is better at guarding European borders than a number of EU Member States, according to President Rosen Plevneliev.
In an interview for Le Nouvel Observateur, Plevneliev comments on the economic, cultural, and European ties between Bulgaria and France, stressing that problems with Bulgarian Roma must not be exaggerated.
"The governments of France and Bulgaria work together and this problem should not get blown out of proportion. There are around 2000 Bulgarian Roma in France, of whom 80% reside there absolutely legally," Plevneliev says.
He notes that the matter involves 400 people for whom the most humane solution possible is being sought.
He adds that the sole way to deal with the problems of Roma is through integration, by providing economic prospects for the community on a European level.
"We shall join the Schengen Area soon. Provided that we observe the rules, neither Roma issues, nor any other problem, will be a restriction in this respect. We find that Bulgaria guards European borders efficiently, even better than other countries," Plevneliev remarks.
He goes on to say that Bulgaria is working to achieve the best possible level of integration in Europe, be it through a monetary, fiscal, or any other type of union.
"We stand no other chance in world which develops so fast" he adds.
Bulgaria's President also comments on the cooperation with France in the sphere of nuclear energy against the backdrop of the January 27 referendum in Bulgaria on the construction of a new nuclear power plant.
"Bulgaria will extend the life spans of units 5 and 6 at the Kozloduy NPP and the procedures have already started. There will be public procurement tenders and we shall be happy if French giant Areva is a candidate," Plevneliev says, emphasizing the strong economic ties between Bulgaria and France.
"We are proud of our agreement with Total for exploration activities on the Black Sea continental shelf. Voila is a key partner for us and Alstom also has projects in Bulgaria," he states.
Bulgaria's head of state informs that French investments in Bulgaria have reached a level of around EUR 1 B over the past 23 years, vowing that the sum will double over the next three years.
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