Bulgarian approves funds for contact centre with Greece, Turkey

Bulgarian approves funds for contact centre with Greece, Turkey

Sofia, May 4, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of The Sofia Globe

Bulgaria’s Cabinet approved on May 4 a sum of three million leva (about 1.5 million) to carry out projects linked to the country’s Schengen accession, including for completing construction of a trilateral contact centre for police and customs co-operation among Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.

The same day, Bulgaria’s Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Roumyana Buchvarova carried out an on-site inspection of progress on construction of the tripartite contact centre at the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint.

Buchvarova carried out the inspection on the way to Ankara, where she was to sign a protocol on the implementation of the European Union-Turkey readmission agreement.

Stanislav Dechev, district governor of Haskovo, briefed Buchvarova on progress on the construction, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The briefing was attended by several officials, including Interior Ministry deputy chief secretary Georgi Arabadzhiev, Border Police chief Antonio Angelov and the consul-general of Bulgaria in Edirne, Vassil Valchev.

The tripartite contact centre between Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey is being financed and built under the action [lan for the implementation of urgent measures in connection with the accession of Bulgaria to the Schengen area.

The aim is to ensure “optimum functionality” of the representatives of the three countries to achieve more effective and close co-operation and exchange of information in real time on migration, organised crime and terrorism, the Interior Ministry said.

A government statement said that the Cabinet had approved three million leva from the central Budget for the implementation of projects related to the accession of Bulgaria to the Schengen area.

The funds are provided to the budgets of the Interior Ministry and the regional administration of Haskovo to complete construction of the tripartite contact centre between Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint, for the supply of equipment and items for detecting, locating and identifying flammable materials and explosives, systems for detecting people hidden in vehicles, for vessels for carrying out border control along the river borders, and for recycling and recovery of batteries for handheld thermal imaging cameras, among other items, the government statement said.