Prague, 15 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Bulgarian Interior Minister Bogomil Bonev said yesterday his country has already developed a national strategy to combat illegal immigration.
In an interview with RFE/RL, Bonev, in Prague for an international conference on illegal immigration, said Bulgaria has already implemented recommendations of previous European interior ministers' meetings on the issue. Interior ministers from 34 European countries met for the first time in Budapest in 1993 to discuss illegal immigration, which has seen an upsurge following the collapse of the former Soviet Union. The current two-day conference in Prague is the third such meeting.
Bonev said the Bulgaria had already taken concrete steps to combat illegal immigration, harmonizing the country's legislation with legislation in other states and introducing visa restrictions for nationals of countries, considered to be sources of illegal immigration.
Bonev also said he hoped the Czech Republic will not take any hasty measures and introduce a visa regime for Bulgarian nationals. Czech Interior Minister Jan Ruml said earlier today visa restrictions should be introduced against citizens from some Eastern European countries but did not specifically name Bulgaria.