European Union gives Bulgaria $166m migrant grant

  • 17/09/2016
European Union gives Bulgaria $166m migrant grant

The European Union is giving Bulgaria €108 million euros (NZ$166 million) in emergency funding to help protect its borders against an increasing flow of illegal migrants and refugees.

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.

The president of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said the money will help more than one country.

"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," he told reporters in Bratislava on the sidelines of a summit of EU leaders on Friday.

Mr Juncker said that in the coming weeks, the financial support from the EU may be raised to €160 million euros (NZ$246 million), as requested by Bulgaria.