Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry Staff to Drop to 47 000 by end-2015Domestic | October 4, 2015, Sunday // 14:44| views
Bulgaria’s Deputy Interior Minister Filip Gunev, photo by BGNES
The number of people working within the Interior Ministry’s system will most probably drop to 47 000 by end-2015, with a further reduction to be implemented in 2016, according to Bulgaria’s Deputy Interior Minister Filip Gunev.
In a Sunday interview for the Bulgarian National Television Gunev noted that the Interior Ministry was trying to compensate for the 1000 police officers dispatched to the border and to make sure that there were a sufficient number of police officers patrolling the city streets.
Gunev said that the border fence, the major part of which was to be ready by end-2015, was expected to reduce the number of police officers necessary to patrol the border.
He admitted that the Interior Ministry was in need of radical reform, corruption being a major trouble spot.
“In order for this to happen, however, it is important to create conditions which provide better incentives for police officers in terms of career development, sustainability, and a total depoliticisation of the system,” he declared, as cited by dnevnik.bg.
Gunev emphasized that the long-term development plan for the Interior Ministry, which had been presented last week, envisaged measures aimed at improving oversight of its employees, simplifying their work, reducing opportunities for corruption, and alleviating the pressure exercised over them.
Bulgaria’s Deputy Interior Minister informed that a total of 22 000 refugees had been caught since the beginning of the year, with 8000 of the total caught over the past two months only.
Regarding accusations leveled against Eastern European countries of a lack of empathy and a reasonable approach to the refugee influx, Gunev underscored that Bulgaria lacked institutions specializing in the integration of refugees and migrants.
He also suggested that a welcoming mindset for refugees in Bulgaria was lacking.
Gunev admitted that there were Interior Ministry officials involved in human smuggling schemes, adding that the authorities were doing their best to arrest the offenders.
He explained that intercepting human smuggling channels proceeded at a slow pace in such cases because of the amount of evidence necessary to stop the scheme.
Gunev pointed out that the recently introduced increased penalties for such offences had had a positive impact, curbing the willingness of police officers to get involved in such schemes.
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