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FAZ: Will Bulgaria erect a fence, like Greece?

Bulgaria has long been plagued by political instability: “The country  has not had an elected government  for  months , as coalition negotiations have repeatedly failed ,” writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . ” Bulgaria ‘s political elite pursued two major foreign policy goals last year , both of which failed : joining the Schengen area and entry into the Eurozone . The euro is not popular with the Bulgarian population anyway , as a large part of it fears the resulting rise in prices. […] On the other hand , there is broad support for joining the Schengen zone , which is free from border controls . But this failed due to a veto by Austria and the Netherlands, following reports that a large number of migrants had entered the EU. through the Bulgarian-Turkish border, without being registered”.

Wanting to improve its border guarding in order to join the Schengen area, Bulgaria seeks to follow the Greek example. “Building a similar wall on the longer Bulgarian-Turkish border would be very expensive, but Bulgaria could, with the right technological equipment, achieve similar results to Greece – as long as this was combined with a fight against corruption, with European support”, Z notes .In order to guard their borders, however, neither Bulgaria nor Greece act exclusively based on legality, the newspaper points out. “Bulgaria is trying in every way to prevent migrants from setting foot on Bulgarian soil, returning them to Turkey without asylum procedures, which the Greek government is also doing. The difference is not so much the Greek fence as the way in which it is protected. Athens systematically makes “pushbacks”, i.e. illegal re-promotions according to European law and, in fact, some politicians of the government are publicly proud of this”.

“Endurance the comeback Lineker”

Gary Lineker returns to the BBC immediately.

After Gary Lineker was sacked following his criticism of the UK government’s illegal immigration bill, the BBC came under fire and the former footballer and Match of the Day presenter was eventually reinstated. “It is not just the BBC leadership that has lost its tolerance for respecting unsavory views. Political dialogue in many countries suffers from the same intolerance, to which political polarization on social media has mainly contributed,” comments Handelsblatt in a related publication.

“When he took up his duties, the head of the BBC, Tim Davey, said that non-partisanship would be the ultimate guiding principle for the broadcaster. This position may sound honest, but it must be seen in a political context: Davey, who was previously a local Conservative politician in London, had issued this directive in response to growing criticism from his party colleagues about the alleged anti-conservative BBC coverage. [ …] Now, Lineker’s return is nothing more than a truce . Professional reporting and freedom of opinion _ _ they are condemned as opposed only to those authoritarian states that George Orwell once described . ‘

Reduction of exports under sanctions to Russia

Only Turkish-made products will now be exported to Russia from Turkey.

The Turkish government has decided to ban the transit of sanctioned products through its territory to Russia. “With this step, the government in Ankara is satisfying an important request of Western states just before the pivotal elections in May,” Handelsblatt points out . Ankara has been repeatedly criticized for undermining Western sanctions against Russia.Erdogan’s government now appears to be turning to the West in the face of low poll numbers – and could thus negotiate valuable deals with the US. and Europe. […] Turkey is the only NATO country that maintains relatively friendly relations with Russia and has refrained from imposing sanctions against Moscow, while statistics show that trade between the two countries has tripled since the invasion of Ukraine.”

Now, “there are reports that Turkish customs authorities have begun to refuse transit of certain goods to Russia and Belarus due to a government directive, […] although there has been no official announcement from the government regarding the change in transit policy.” Only products manufactured in Turkey are still exported to Russia. The HBconcludes that “the move by the Turkish customs authorities was expected, because European and American pressures on Turkey had increased recently. However, the fact that the Turkish government is backing down now comes as a surprise to many, as after the earthquake disaster, the Turkish economy took a big hit. Trade with Russia could have softened the consequences. But Erdogan needs Western political support if he wants to win the elections.”

Source : dw.com