A sum of 169 309 121 leva has been paid so for the fence at the border with Turkey, Bulgaria’s deputy interior minister Philip Gounev told reporters on December 9 2016, responding to opposition allegations that the bill was 250 million leva.
Gounev said that if the cost of road-building was not included, the sum came to about 145 million leva.
In the National Assembly earlier on December 9, Bulgarian Socialist Party MP Dragomir Stoinev asked how much the fence was costing and whether it had any effect. He said that the cost was 250 million leva, and the fence was not yet finished.
Gounev said that comparisons with how much the previous section of the fence had cost were completely inappropriate because cost varied greatly depending on the terrain to be covered.
Checks had been ordered to ensure that prices were not being inflated and that Bulgarian taxpayers’ money was being well-spent, he said.
Gounev said that in late October, a sum of 20 million leva had been provided to add 20km of the fence in the region of Haskovo along the Tundzha River, as well as further funds for the completion of the fence and roadworks in the territory of Bourgas.
He expressed hope that the final kilometres, announced in October and the business for which was awarded in November, would be completed in January. This would depend on weather conditions, Gounev said.
Gounev said that the effect of the fence is tangible and where it had been completed, migration pressure had dropped. It was a necessary facility that was assisting the police and the army to guard the border more effectively, he said.
A section of fence at the Bulgarian-Turkish border was first ordered at the time of the 2013/14 ruling axis, as Bulgaria faced a flow of refugees as a result of the crisis in Syria. Irregularities regarding contracts connected to that section of fence resulted in sanctions against a few senior military personnel and civilian contractors.
After Boiko Borissov returned to power in Bulgaria in November 2014, his government embarked on a project to extend the fence to the full length of the Bulgarian-Turkish border.
The Borissov government’s fence project has been the subject of repeated criticism from the socialist opposition that it is excessively costly./IBNA