Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov has said the migrant crisis can be solved if the EU can seal its external border, detain illegal migrants already present, and deport them back to where they came from.
Speaking after the EU’s failed mini-summit on migration, called to forestall German chancellor Angela Merkel’s partners in Bavaria walking out of government and collapsing her fragile ‘grand coalition’, the Bulgarian leader said he would not accept any plan which involved sending migrants back to the first EU state they arrived in — often border states like his own — in line with the EU’s old Dublin regulations.
“Let’s face it: Greece, Italy and Bulgaria let the migrants through, and they went to Germany,” he said bluntly.
“That’s how the countries of Western Europe were flooded with migrants, and that’s why they want to send some of them back.”
He added, however, that these illegal migrants would not have crossed into their territory in the first place if Angela Merkel had not issued an open invitation for them to come, and that he would not accept tens of thousands being sent back to his country without an agreement to detain them.
“Angela Merkel may ask for bilateral agreements [on other EU member-states taking back migrants] when the EU external borders are securely and entirely closed… Before they send them back, they should first agree that we build prisons and hold them there,” he said.