Business Does not Fear Terror Attacks
The Sarafovo bombing shattered the myth that Bulgaria could be a safe border of Schengen, says Milen Keremedcheiv
Milen Keremedchiev was born in 1968. He is a graduate of Sofia University for National and World Economy and Kuwait New Indian School. He was Deputy Foreign Minister of Bulgaria and General Consul in Dubai. His other offices worth mentioning include Deputy Minister of Economy and national coordinator of the Pact for Stability for SE Europe. At present, he is a business consultant for a big international company.
- Mr. Keremedchiev, as a former foreign minister, what do you think of Bulgaria having recently become a target of terrorist organizations?
- A number of pending issues need careful consideration. First and foremost, how did this terrorist entered Bulgaria?
The official information was that he was let in with a forged driving license, but according to the current legislation the only documents granting access to the territory of Bulgaria are a passport or identity card. And these documents are checked by the border police, who use a special reader device.
If the document is fake the reader will immediately recognize it as such. So, either he entered the country with the documents of a person who looked like him, or he was smuggled in the country.
The other important thing is that the bomber can’t have acted alone. Once these questions are answered adequately, there will be some certainty as to whether Bulgaria could be a secure Schengen border or not. The fact that Bulgarian maintains friendly relations with the Arab world does not mean that it is immune to possible terror attacks by radical Islamists.
- Do we have any grounds to expect new terrorist onslaughts?
- Yes, we have. Since Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004 our country pursues pro-Western policy in its relations with the Arab World and is a strong opponent to the international terrorism. We have taken part in all military missions of the allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and now side with the Syrian opposition. Bulgaria also has very friendly relations with Israel. The recent terrorist strike is a horrible act but this had to be expected no matter how small country Bulgaria is.
- What is to be done from now on?
- First of all we have to dispel several myths, for instance, that Bulgaria has established successful multiethnic, multicultural and multireligeous models which allegedly put our country beyond the reach of terrorists. Another myth is that Bulgaria is a safe outer border of the EU and Schengen zone. Now we have to start building up our good reputation anew and this will cost us a lot of effort.