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Romania fears more illegal immigration from the East


dpa German Press Agency
Published: Friday January 26, 2007

Bucharest- The Romanian government announced Friday that it has increased personnel on its eastern border in anticipation of a rise in attempted illegal immigration after its European Union accession. Romanian Interior Minister Vasile Blaga said that from now on all established posts on the eastern border would be occupied by border patrol personnel.

In 2006, the number of attempted illegal border crossings from Romania into neighbouring countries trebled, and 98 border police were prosecuted for accepting bribes, Blaga said.

The minister also complained that the vehicles co-financed by the EU with heart sensors for the nighttime detection of border violators proved less helpful than anticipated.

The border police had to learn to use the devices properly, he said, adding that in addition to general upkeep being expensive, the vehicles were in the shop for repairs longer than they were in the field. The technology would cost by 2012 at total of 1.1 billion euros (1.4 billion dollars).

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency