EU grants Bulgaria 108 million euros to stem migrant flows

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - The European Union decided to give Bulgaria 108 million euros in emergency funding to help it protect its borders against an increasing flow of illegal migrants and refugees into the country, the president of the EU Commission said on Friday.

Over a million people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa arrived in Europe last year, mostly coming via Turkey to Greece. Bulgaria says migrant flows through its territory have been on the rise since June.

“Bulgaria is facing a very serious problem. This has to be seen not as a major problem for Bulgaria, this has to be seen as a problem of the EU. Bulgaria is not left alone.” Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters in Bratislava on the sidelines of a summit of EU leaders.

Juncker said that in the coming weeks, the financial support from the EU may be raised to 160 million euros, as requested Bulgaria.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald and Francesco Guarascio