Bulgaria’s government on Wednesday gave the green light for spending BGN 3 M (EUR 1.5 M) to increase the country’s preparedness to join the EU’s free-travel Schengen Area.
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The funding, part of 2016 central government budget, would go toward completion of a point of contact at Kapitan Andreevo crossing on the border with Turkey. The contact centre will help Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey exchange information related to protection of their common borders.
Part of the allocation will be used to purchase devices for detection and identification of explosives, infrared cameras and gas analysers for detection of people hidden in motor vehicles as well as vessels for control of river borders.
Maritsa River (Meric in Turkish, Evros in Greek) forms part of the border between Bulgaria and Greece and further east – between Turkey and Greece.
In January 2016, the Bulgarian police announced that it had saved 118 migrants from drowning in the Maritsa River when they tried to reach the Bulgarian bank from Greece after people smugglers abandoned them.
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