Greek and Bulgarian police are to start joint patrols along the Greek-Bulgarian and Bulgarian-Turkish borders in a bid to prevent undocumented migrants from continuing their journeys via the so-called Balkan Route.
Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas discussed the matter with Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Rumiana Bachvarova during a recent visit to Sofia.
A ministry statement said that the talks were “extremely cordial” and that the matter was examined while details about the exact location of the planned patrols remain to be determined.
A Greek Police official involved in the planning for the joint patrols told Kathimerini that both Greece and Bulgaria have come under European pressure to thwart migrants and refugees who entered Greece from Turkey and aim to continue on to Central and Western Europe. In March, Albanian and Italian police started joint patrols of the Greek-Albanian border in a bid to stop migrants traveling onward into Europe.
According to recent media reports, flows from Turkey to Bulgaria are increasing at a constant pace.
At the same time, refugees and migrant flows to the islands of the eastern Aegean Sea continue without a break, 104 people arrived in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, EU member states remain reluctant to fulfill their commitment and accept refugees from Greece.
From the EU Turkey Deal target of 6,000 relocations per month or 30,000 in total for the period April – August 2016, only 3,000 relocations took place.