March 23 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria will receive 600 million euro ($652.7 million) from the European Commission to enhance controls at the border with Turkey in order to cope with increasing flow of illegal migrants, Petar Todorov, chief commissioner at the ministry of the interior, said.
The funds will be spent on the procurement of technical equipment, video surveillance cameras, sensors and motor vehicles, Todorov said on Wednesday, as seen in a video file published by public television BNT.
Bulgaria has three border checkpoints along its 259-km land border with Turkey.
Earlier this week, the Commission announced the start of a pilot border control project with Bulgaria aimed at bolstering the efficiency of migrant flow management at what is one of the EU's external borders.
Bulgaria has prevented 170,000 illegal migrants from entering its territory in 2022, up from 7,000 three years earlier, according to Todorov. Migrant pressure has escalated even further in 2023, with attempted migrant entries rising 43% year-on-year in the first quarter, he added.
In a separate statement on Wednesday, Bulgaria's caretaker government said it will propose to spend some 32 million levs ($17.8 million/16.4 million euro) to support the activities of the ministry of the interior and the ministry of defence in response to heightened migrant pressure.
($ = 0.9192 euro)