The Bulgarian Border: “Our Whole System is Worth Nothing”

The following clip from Bulgarian TV features an interview with a man who is familiar with the border between Bulgaria and Turkey, and considers the defenses there useless.

Tanya T., who translated the video for subtitling, includes this note:

The man being interviewed, Mjad Algahfari, heads a translation firm. It is mainly his team of interpreters that work with Border Police. He had withdrawn his team because he hadn’t been paid.

Bulgaria has a huge green border with Turkey. Defending it properly would require a great number of trained people, stationed all along it. This would also mean new facilities would have to be built. Finding the people would be difficult, also because border policemen are badly paid.

Some 160 million was promised by the EU, but it’s not known whether the new money will be sent, and there are limitations to what it may be used for — it can’t be used for the fence, for example, because EU officials are “against fences”. It may be spent on accommodating the migrants, and on surveillance.

The fence is being destroyed every day. Migrants fell big trees onto it, smashing it in order to cross, but they usually cut it. There are rumors that all wire cutters in Turkey have been sold out (it was even mentioned on state TV).

Border policemen are only allowed to behave as a reception committee.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


03:28   Mjad Algahfari, in the studio of “This Morning”. Good morning, happy New Year. — The same to you.
03:33   We’re going to talk about how the migrants and refugees spent New Year’s Eve,
03:36   and what kind of condition the Bulgarian-Turkish border is in,
03:39   because yesterday too, in a conversation with experts in our studio, it was said that
03:45   if the situation in Turkey becomes more unstable, the first country to be affected is Bulgaria,
03:51   and it will be here that the wave of refugees will arrive, but also [the wave of] terror.
03:55   Well, there is proverb in Bulgaria that says that if the house next door is on fire,
04:01   there is great chance that our own house will burn down as well.
04:08   Yes, also that when the bear is dancing in the yard next door, it will probably come to ours too…
04:12   The question, however, is whether we are prepared for this.
04:15   I’ve said this many times, we have the cadres, more or less – border policemen, policemen…
04:22   that is, they are few, but are doing work which, if anyone went out in the field
04:26   and saw how they work, he would be struck dumb.
04:31   Why? What is going on in the field? The migrants jump over the fence in seconds.
04:38   They put a ladder and within less than one minute about thirty of them cross.
04:43   Just by using a ladder? Yes, the ladder is put against the fence,
04:47   and within no more than a minute about thirty people cross.
04:52   Besides, the moment they enter our territory, even if the cameras spot them,
04:57   from the moment a signal is sent and the border police head to the spot
05:01   where the migrants entered, even if they have dogs with them,
05:05   according to my source, they cannot catch up with them.
05:09   Are they so fast? It all happens in such a quick-firing manner? They put up a ladder…
05:13   They put up a ladder, they jump over, and continue. —What was this fence built for then?
05:17   I’ve said it before —it’s a scale model.
05:44   It’s clear that in case of a flood, a huge flood, this fence might not withstand, depending
05:48   on the situation, really… No, not only would it not withstand, it doesn’t withstand…
05:52   —But in such… In such cases, when you could put up a ladder and cross it,
05:55   then… —Well, how high do you think it is?
05:58   A ladder is put against it, without any difficulty, they cross over
06:02   in less than a minute, and the group starts walking…
06:05   they don’t run, they walk… about five or six kilometers an hour.
06:12   Do the math — until the border police come, find the track, and go after them,
06:17   they are at least several kilometers ahead of them
06:21   I have information from Border Police — from acquaintances, from very good friends of mine —
06:27   when walking after them, from Malko Tarnovo,
06:30   they sometimes overtake them… that is, they don’t overtake them,
06:33   they lose their tracks as far away as Burgas (74km by road).
06:36   Can you imagine that? … —So many kilometers? So many kilometers in one gulp,
06:41   that’s between seven and nine or ten hours of non-stop walking. They don’t stop.
06:46   Anyone who stops — as happened, in that case in Burgas… yesterday or the day before, I think.
06:51   A Somali woman was abandoned by the group, and she froze to death.
06:56   Yes, if anyone cannot hold out, they abandon them and continue.
06:59   They have no pity.
07:02   Any stragglers are abandoned, and they continue. The goal is clear… —Yes, the goal is clear
07:06   — they have to reach a certain point, their transport has to come,
07:10   and take them across Bulgaria and from there onwards — to leave for Germany.
07:14   And, in terms of routes and actions, all is clear;
07:17   I’ve said it many times — we are light years behind the terro… the traffickers.
07:26   We are the ones who have to make the rules, not them.
07:29   They have the measure of us, so to speak, and are now playing with us.
07:35   And what is our measure? Is it that we are weak, or that we can’t cope with them?
07:38   We don’t have the vehicles to go after them. We have people, on foot,
07:41   with shabby boots… The man I spoke with
07:44   told me, Algahfari, “Take it from me,
07:47   when I get home, it’s all ice in my boot.”
07:53   He is a handler of dogs. Perhaps the authorities can now guess who I’m talking about,
07:58   since he is one of the few at Malko Tarnovo.
08:02   These are people who do their utmost, and can accomplish nothing.
08:06   Jeeps were bought… or rather, given as a donation to the Border Police.
08:10   What can they do with these jeeps, on such broken terrain?
08:13   migrants don’t walk on streets. They don’t use roads — they pass through rugged terrain.
08:18   People are needed, equipment is needed…
08:23   How come — I don’t want to mention his name [migrant hunter] — has an ATV and chases them —
08:29   why couldn’t our Border Police have ATVs?
09:17   How many of the people entering (the country) are really fleeing conflict, are fleeing war
09:22   and what portion of them are people with training, including training to shoot at people?
09:27   According to our information, and the opinion of experts, for example the Istanbul NYE attacker,
09:32   he was so cold-blooded, and he points a gun at people,
09:35   as if he has done it before. —As if it’s not his first time. —Yes.
09:38   Well, that’s why I gave that example —How many kilometers,
09:42   they walk for seven-eight-ten hours without stopping…
09:46   Trained people… Show me one of us who could endure so many hours
09:50   of walking, in such weather, at such low temperatures…
09:53   When you are fleeing to save your life other kinds of (psychological) mechanisms are unlocked.
09:57   The question is what motives these people have… —Yes, if you were fleeing, and right behind you
10:00   there was someone with a gun chasing you. Nobody is chasing you with a gun here.
10:04   You’re being chased by border police, who, when they catch you, will take you to a Border Police
10:08   post, will take your names, in the most rudimentary manner, since they lack interpreters,
10:13   and will send you to one of the migrant centers afterwards.
10:18   In most cases to an open-type center. You are still at large. What do you care?
10:24   You can still leave, you can be caught again, and returned there.
10:28   Our whole system is worth nothing.
10:31   A lot of money is spent. Officials brag about how much they get from the EU and our own budget,
10:36   how much this or that costs, what efforts they are making… They are doing nothing!
10:42   The fence has been cut all over the place — ask the border policemen, and they will tell you.
10:46   Unfortunately, the state forbids the ordinary border policemen to talk.
10:51   And if they start talking, it will get dangerous.

14 thoughts on “The Bulgarian Border: “Our Whole System is Worth Nothing”

  1. I recently read an article disclosing the sorry state of the Czech military. Under the bolshies, there was a real army, maybe about 75,000 people. Now there are about 25,000 and two thirds of them are “paper warriors” with no real experience.

    I imagine that this is true for most countries in Europe now, especially the smaller ones. It seemed like a good idea to dismantle everything when communism fell. Now, folks are wishing those razor wire borders with no man’s land in between were still in existence…

    So for all the official blather in Sweden, for example, that the borders will be patrolled, they just haven’t got the systems in place. It’s all good-sounding nonsense to pacify critics, especially those who still believe sanctioned propaganda.

    Bulgarians should take the EU money and build a fence and train and pay proper border guards, and apologize to EU after the fact. Eurocrats will fuss at them, but do nothing. The other issue I haven’t heard discussed yet, is, why are border guards not allowed to do anything effective? You have endless vids of violent border aggression, mostly rock throwing en masse, and the guards are there haplessly covering themselves with shields while the rocks are raining down. What??!! What a humiliating position to be in…

    It’s like all the cops/military have turned into London bobbies who used to patrol streets with a stick and a stern stare.

    • The real military has shown up . . . at great expense to the American treasury. (I would have said “taxpayer”, but we know by now that most of the funding is debt “printed” – invoked – out of thin air.) It is not there to protect Europe against an Islamist takeover; but rather to keep poking a stick at a sick old bear . . . the boogeyman from three decades ago. Beware; the bear still has claws. Alas, his aim is no longer very accurate.

  2. Aren’t we high tech enough these days to have electronic devices instead of real fences?

  3. Simple solution. Go back to old style border fences of barbed wire and lay a minefield. Wouldn’t take long to stop the incursions.

  4. Perhaps it’s time for the individual Bulgarians to ‘take care of business’ by ‘any means necessary’, believe me the word would get out. To do nothing or wait for the inept government is a fool’s game.

  5. The inner borders of the European Union were dismantled ON THE CONDITION of properly enforced protection of its outer borders. There was firm commitment to help the economically weaker states at the fringes with that task, to which we agreed. But nothing we’ve been sold upon creation of this “union” is worth much nowadays. Those in power don’t even like to be reminded of it and persecute it as “hate speech”. A Kafka would have found it difficult to draw up a world as absurd as comtemporary reality.

  6. Wasn’t better when we had mines along the river Evros who separates Greece from Turkey?

    It is said is inhuman to use mines,but when barbaric hordes are welcomed by our governments to invade Europe,and thus rape and murder women of every age,even boys is not inhuman?

    One thing i know,when we used mines my country was a happier place.

  7. This interview made the Interior Ministry finally announce on what the 160 million will be spent. It seems all this involves enormous bureaucracy, probably as the EU requires, which is laughable.
    The plan is to improve the surveillance system, buy more jeeps and caravans for the migrants (the border police have no right to return them to Turkey), and pay the new border policemen for 1 year.
    600 more border policemen will accompany migrants to migrant centers – I feel safe.
    Anyone interested in details can google-translate this:

  8. Europe has not been governed so naively or incompetently since August, 1914.
    The aftermath will be similar.
    Who will inherit Europe when it is over is unclear.
    Europe may become an Islamic province of Turkey.

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