Bulgaria authorizes army to police border, boost migration control

The Bulgarian parliament on Thursday unanimously voted in favour of authorizing the army to police the nation's borders and keep migration flows under control.

All 137 lawmakers attending the vote backed the measure, which allows the government to deploy soldiers to the Turkish border with police authority. 

Bulgaria lies to the east of the main corridor of migrants heading for Western Europe through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. It registered 27,000 migrant arrivals in 2015, far fewer than its neighbours.

On Wednesday, Bulgaria allocated 35 million leva (20 million dollars) for the expansion of a 30-kilometre fence built in 2014 along the Turkish border.

Of the 130 kilometres planned, 60 kilometres of fencing have so far been built at the 275-kilometre-long Turkish-Bulgarian border.

The poorest country in the European Union since it joined in 2007, Bulgaria has a poor reputation among migrants, who frequently claim rights violations and abuse.

Last update: Thu, 25/02/2016 - 16:47

More from Europe

More explosives found in Germany following bomb-making arrest

Following the arrest of a suspected bomb maker in Germany's Lower Rhine region, police said they found explosives in...

EU starts "new era" of NATO cooperation amid uncertainty over Trump

NATO foreign ministers signed a deal on closer collaboration with the European Union on Tuesday, with the bloc's top...

Merkel re-elected party leader after toughening tone on refugees

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) have edged to the right with plans for a tougher...

Greek court extradites some Turkish officers, others to stay

A court in Athens has agreed to a request from Turkey to extradite three military officers accused of plotting to...

Despite defeat, Austrian far-right aims for big vote take in 2017

This weekend's loss in the Austrian presidential election will not deter Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPOe)...