Migratory Pressure on Bulgaria Could Rise after EU-Turkey Deal - IntMin

Domestic | March 9, 2016, Wednesday // 09:26|  views

Bulgaria's Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova. File photo, BGNES

Bulgaria is anticipating a possible increase of migratory pressure on Bulgaria as a result of EU effort to "close down" the Balkans route for migrants, Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova has said.

In an interview for public broadcaster BNT, Bachvarova has asserted that the region is facing a new migratory situation as of the night of Tuesday into Wednesday after "Serbia closed the border".

She is referring to a move by Serbian authorities to "reciprocally introduce" measures on its southern and eastern borders with Macedonia and Bulgaria, after Slovenia implemented restrictions for migrants without visas and passports.

Ljubljana's announcement followed a summit bringing together EU and Turkey leaders where an agreement was reached to take steps toward the closure of the "Western Balkans route" and exchange with Turkey of irregular migrants stuck in Greece for Syrian refugees in Turkish camps.

Bachvarova, however, has made clear the new developments are unlikely to change the situation for Bulgaria.

"Every day we detain migrants en route to the border with Serbia and always keep our commitments."

Citing Europol data, she has opined stricter measures should be taken by EU member states' authorities against people smugglers as, according to the report, 90% of Western Balkans route users entered "in an organized way".

Separately, Austrian media reports suggest migrants are already using routes via Bulgaria and Hungary to circumvent EU effort to curb the influx.

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Tags: Rumyana Bachvarova, Migration, migrant crisis, Serbia, Slovenia, refugees, Syria, Syrian


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