Bulgaria, Greece 'Think Alike' on Key Issues - Borisov

Diplomacy | August 1, 2016, Monday // 15:41|  views

Photo by GIS

Sofia and Athens share the same views on crucial regional issues Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said after his meeting with Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras.

The two have discussed energy, transport, migration and other bilateral issues and have attended the signatures of bilateral tourism, education and culture programs at a joint cabinet meeting in Sofia, news website Dnevnik.bg quotes the Prime Ministers as saying at their press conference.

The possibility to renew the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project - which would transport Russian oil from Burgas at the Black Sea to the Aegean port of Alexandroupoli - and establish a rail link between the two cities has also been on the agenda. Bulgaria suspended the pipeline project early in the 2010s, but Athens has been reconsidering options to go on with it.

Daily newspaper 24 Chasa quotes Tsipras as saying after the meeting that the two countries have to work to connect Burgas and Alexandroupoli by train and link the two seas. Greece would need around two years' work complete the infrastructure along the tracks, he has added.

On the Bulgarian side, most of the railroad between Burgas and the border town of Svilengrad, close to both the Greek and the Turkish border, is now ready to use, except for a small section near Burgas.

Tsipras has also noted the two countries need to cooperate "more than ever" given challenges in the region.

In his words, the two leaders "had the opportunity to mark a new beginning of tight and constructive cooperation."

Tsipras has assured Borisov there will be bilateral meetings with farmers as early as September to agree measures that will prevent situations like the border blockade this spring from happening in the future.

Long queues were formed on the Bulgarian-Greek border as farmers had sealed off key crossings for a month in protest against changes to taxation and the pension system in their country. Businesses reported millions in losses for the period between the end of January and early March.

Borisov has added that, in return, his country will take measures to prevent its dams from overflowing in the autumn and flooding areas in Nothern Greece.

Tsipras for his part has voiced his country's gratitude to Bulgaria for its support during the Greek financial crisis and during the peak of the migrant crisis last year.

Tsipras is on his first visit to Bulgaria since taking over the PM's office last year.


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Tags: Boyko Borisov, Alexis Tsipras, Bulgaria, greece, Burgas-Alexandroupolis, Alexandroupoli, Burgas, railroad, migrant crisis


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