Bulgaria, Greece Demand Clear EU Rules on Migration

Diplomacy | December 14, 2015, Monday // 13:53|  views

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev (L) and his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos in Sofia, Bulgaria on December 14, 2015. Photo by BGNES

Sofia and Athens believe EU member states should agree on clear common rules about how to handle the migrant crisis, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said on Monday.

Meeting his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos who is on a visit to Sofia, the Bulgarian head of state noted the two countries believe common regulations should be observed by both EU member states and non-EU countries in Southeast Europe.

He also voiced his own opinion that there should be "migrant hotspots" in every EU state, local media outlets report.

"When we are talking about hundreds of thousands, even millions of people fleeing war and conflict, we cannot leave one or another country alone... By taking migrants through half-open or closed borders and divert responsibility from one state to another, this is just a recipe for catastrophe," he made clear.

Plevneliev thanked his Greek counterpart and the Athens government for the joint effort to launch construction of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) project which in his words "will contribute to the improvement of energy security in Europe and diversification of gas sources".

"We are working together on a very feasible idea, namely the opening of an Energy Exchange for Southeast Europe," the head of state said.

Plevneliev underscored Greece's position as one of the three big investors into Bulgaria and a key trade partner with bilateral exchange reaching nearly EUR 3 B a year.

He stressed the important of bilateral contribution for the conversion of Southeast Europe into "a democratic and prosperious region".

"Over the years lack of good connectivity on a regional level used to place invisible walls and hinder economi development and [cross-border] investment. Now we are thinking and acting beyond borders - [we are] building motorways, bridges, rail tracks, new border crossings and are looking for closer ties. Our economic are growing more and more interlinked".

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, Plevneliev, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, interconnector greece-bulgaria, IGB, Bulgaria, greece


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