BERLIN Germany will prevent Bulgaria and Romania from entering the passport-free Schengen zone when European ministers meet to discuss the issue on Thursday, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said in a magazine interview.
"If Romania and Bulgaria insist on a vote, the attempt will fail due to a German veto," Friedrich was quoted as saying in Der Spiegel on Sunday.
"Even the idea of a partial approval i.e. for entry by air or seaports is off the table," he added.
He said Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, needed to tackle corruption more decisively and that German citizens would only accept an expansion of the Schengen area if the essential requirements were fulfilled, which he said was not currently the case.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)