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Don’t liken us to Greece and Romania, Bulgarian PM asks Merkel February 15, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Bulgaria, EU, European Union, Yunanistan.
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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and German chancellor Angela Merkel agreed at a meeting in Berlin on January 25 2010 that Bulgaria should be assessed on its own merits and not likened to its neighbouring European Union member states Greece and Romania.

This was in the context of Bulgaria’s aspirations to join the euro zone, a matter which Merkel underlined would be evaluated by the European Commission and European Central Bank and not by individual member states. Bulgaria would get a fair assessment, on an individual basis, on this issue and on its bid to join the Schengen visa zone, Merkel said.

It would not be fair for groups of states to be considered as a whole, Merkel said.

Of late, there has been controversy around Greece because it is running a deficit significantly in excess of euro zone rules.

She promised that Germany would continue its intensive support for Bulgaria to deal with corruption and organised crime. Borissov said that his Government would work to justify the support given by Germany in this effort.

More intensive economic co-operation was possible, and the two countries had an overlap in European energy policy, Merkel said.

However, Merkel said that for confidence and co-operation to develop, there had to be trust in licensing procedures and in the judiciary.

The two heads of government also discussed Afghanistan. Injured Bulgarian military personnel were to be transferred for treatment in Germany after being wounded in a missile attack on a Nato base in Kandahar on January 24 2010.

Merkel said that the situation in Afghanistan remained dangerous. Referring to a forthcoming conference in London on the security situation, Merkel said success would be possible only through working with the Afghanistan government.

Borissov’s agenda also includes meetings with bundestag president Norbert Lammert, Berlin mayor Norbert Lammert and Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit.

Borissov is accompanied by Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Economy, Energy and Tourism Minister Traicho Traikov and Regional Development and Public Works Minister Rossen Plevneliev.

On January 24, Borissov met representatives of the Bulgarian community and students living in Berlin.

Bulgarian National Television (BNT) said that in Germany, prejudices about Bulgaria had “not quite disappeared” and Bulgaria was seen as the European Union’s poorest and most corrupt country.

German newspaper Handelsblatt had said that in Bulgaria, organised crime was omnipresent.

The visit was a chance for Borissov to clear away these negative stereotypes, BNT said.

The fight against organised crime would be on the agenda for talks, and Bulgaria would be seeking support for its accession to the Schengen zone, according to BNT.

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