Bulgaria will restore the fence on its Turkish border which existed during the Cold War to prevent animals with food-and-mouth disease (FMD) from entering, the government has decided.
Currently, there is a fence covering a mere 28.5 km of the 209.5 km border. The existing fence will be repaired and a new one will be constructed to cover all the rest.
The governors of the three regions through which the territory of the fence will pass - those of Burgas, Haskovo and Yambol, will issue orders for its construction. It will be financed by the country's Finance Ministry and facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The new fence must be completed by October 2011, as FMD spreads faster when temperatures are low.
After 12 years without FMD cases in Bulgaria, in late December, the first outbreak was detected near the Southeastern village of Kosti. Up to now, six villages in Southeast Bulgaria have registered FMD outbreaks. At the end of March, the Agency announced that as many as 700 animals might have to be euthanized to prevent the spread of FMD in Strandzha, triggering mass farmers' protest rallies and blockades.
Bulgaria's intention to build a new fence on its Turkish border comes as Greece is also planning a similar measure but designed to tackle the influx of illegal immigrants from the Middle East via Turkey.
Turkey has met with suspicion the intentions of the two countries to build border fences. According to the Chairman of Turkish Center for International Relations and Strategic Analysis, Sinan Ogan, the two countries have hidden agendas. /Source: Sofia News Agency/