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Tags: EU | REL | Balkans | Pope | The Latest

The Latest: Pope to Address Bulgaria's Anti-migrant Stance

The Latest: Pope to Address Bulgaria's Anti-migrant Stance

Sunday, 05 May 2019 03:38 AM EDT

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' trip to Bulgaria (all times local):

10 a.m.

Pope Francis has arrived in Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest country and one that taken a hard line against migrants.

That stance conflicts with the pontiff's view that reaching out to vulnerable people is a moral imperative.

On a two-day trip that began Sunday, Francis plans to tour a refugee center and dive into the Vatican's complicated relations with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

Later in the day, Francis is meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, whose center-right, pro-Brussels coalition government includes three nationalist, anti-migrant parties. The government has called for the closure of EU borders to migrants and sealed off its own frontier to Turkey with a barbed-wire fence.

Bulgaria, which joined the EU in 2007, is the bloc's poorest country, with the lowest average monthly salary — 575 euros ($645) — and the smallest average monthly pension of 190 euros ($213).

9 a.m.

Pope Francis is heading to Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest country and one that taken a hard line against migrants, which conflicts with the pontiff's view that reaching out to vulnerable people is a moral imperative.

Francis is expected to visit a refugee center during his two-day visit starting Sunday, as well as dive into the Vatican's complicated relations with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The trip ends with a daylong stop Tuesday in neighboring North Macedonia, the first by a pope.

Francis starts his Bulgarian trip by meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, whose center-right, pro-Brussels coalition government includes three nationalist, anti-migrant parties. The government has called for the closure of EU borders to migrants and sealed off its own frontier to Turkey with a barbed-wire fence.

The Argentine pope has made the plight of migrants and refugees a hallmark of his papacy. His visit falls just three weeks before European Parliament elections across the EU's 28 nations in which nationalist, anti-migrant parties are expected to make a solid showing.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
The Latest on Pope Francis' trip to Bulgaria (all times local):10 a.m.Pope Francis has arrived in Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest country and one that taken a hard line against migrants.That stance conflicts with the pontiff's view that reaching out to vulnerable...
EU,REL,Balkans,Pope,The Latest
328
2019-38-05
Sunday, 05 May 2019 03:38 AM
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