Ultra-modern security systems defending the Bulgarian border with Turkey have proved to be useless, as the border police of the European Union’s (EU) poorest state cannot afford to run them.
Europeans were once told they could “rest easy” because the Bulgarian border was so well protected. A few years ago the Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, said his country had “the best guarded borders in the Schengen area”. However, confidential German security reports now suggest Bulgaria’s border equipment has been defunct for some time, reports Der Spiegel.
Thermal imaging cameras, motion detectors and ground penetrating radar fortification all lie redundant because the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior cannot pay the electricity bills needed to keep them running. In addition, the German documents suggest about half of the Bulgarian Border Police patrol cars are unused because vehicle maintenance resources are lacking.
The implications of the “disastrous budgetary situation” for border security on the edges of the EU are substantial. The 300 kilometre Bulgarian border with Turkey is a well-worn path for migrants entering the 28 nation politico-economic bloc.
German security services note that human traffickers easily spot weaknesses and areas of vulnerability in border security, especially in Bulgaria where they are so obvious.
As a result the Bulgarian Border Police have officially identified around 6,600 people attempting to enter the country in the first eight months of 2015. Although it has not yet faced a similar migrant influx to its neighbours Greece and Macedonia, the number of those who evaded Bulgarian authorities is believed to be much larger than those intercepted.
Bulgaria is not alone in the EU in having border controls which are not as stringent as first thought. As Breitbart London reported in early October, despite government-trumpeted border control tightening only eight officers guarded the 125 mile border between Eastern Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany and they only worked very limited daytime hours and not at all at weekends.