Bulgaria sends military to guard Turkey border

Bulgaria wants to step up military protection of its border with Turkey. Up to 600 soldiers are to be deployed to prevent migrants from crossing over into the country. But can borders be protected by military means?

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Trud (BG) /

Soldiers better at protecting border than police

Our experience so far shows that the military is more effective at guarding the border than the police, writes Trud:

“The frequent changes of companies prevents the soldiers from doing business with the smugglers. Moreover, the soldiers are more motivated and far more conscientious about their work. The police are completely unmotivated because they've been sent from different parts of the country to the border, where their working conditions are lousy. Meanwhile the crime rate is rising in the rural areas because there is a lack of police. So it makes sense to deploy soldiers to the border rather than police.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Corruption stronger than the military

Bulgaria's initiative doesn't make sense, the Süddeutsche Zeitung argues:

“All illusions are dashed at the very latest when you look at Europe as a whole. Refugees and their smugglers look for other routes, those now being via Italy once again, and Spain. Moreover, in the states of Southeastern Europe the borders are permeable despite the presence of soldiers. Many mostly poorly paid Turkish or Bulgarian border guards are happy to take a bribe that can amount to as much as several thousand euros to let individual refugees through. Because corruption is simply stronger than the military. Soldiers, metal fences, infrared motion detectors and drones aren't enough to protect these countries' borders. All they do is guarantee that the incomes of the smugglers and corrupt border guards will continue to rise.”