Spain supports Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen Agreement, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov in Madrid.
Borisov is in the Spanish capital on a state visit together with Economy Minister Traicho Traikov and Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov.
Zapatero has assessed highly Bulgaria's efforts to meet all technical criteria for Schengen membership, according to the press service of the Bulgarian government.
Bulgaria has failed to join the borderless Schengen Agreement in March 2011, which was the original deadline, as it was found to have technical border control problems on its Turkish problem, and has been faced with political opposition by key EU members France and Germany, among others. Bulgaria now hopes to be able to join the Schengen Area at the end of 2011.
The prime ministers of Bulgaria and Spain declared their will to deepen the strategic partnership of their countries within the EU; their talks focused on the civil unrest in North Africa and the potential EU enlargement with new Balkan countries.
Borisov used his meeting with Zapatero and his participation in a business forum organized by the Spanish Confederation of Entrepreneurs to advertise Bulgaria as a favorable foreign investment destination - for example, with respect to the construction of highways and railway infrastructure.
"At present, Bulgaria is the country with the lowest taxes in the EU. The corporate tax is 10%, the VAT is 20%. The political situation is peaceful and stable. Bulgaria has a currency board and the Bulgarian lev is pegged to the euro," Borisov told the Spanish business.
Borisov also urged a focus on agriculture predicting that much of the Arab world and Africa will end up in a real shortage for food and fresh water not just within years but within months.
Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero has accepted Borisov's invitation to visit Bulgaria.
As part of his visit in Madrid, the Bulgarian PM visited the Bulgarian stand at the international hunting tourism expo "El Salón de Cazadores, Venatoria" 2011, which was opened by Agriculture Minister Naydenov. /Source: Sofia News Agency/