Germany's Manfred Weber of the European People's Party waves during ruling party GERB's rally in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sunday, May 19, 2019. The rally comes days before more than 400 million Europeans from 28 countries will head to the polls to choose lawmakers to represent them at the European Parliament for the next five years. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

EU elections: Weber, in Bulgaria, vows tough migration laws

May 19, 2019 - 9:37 am

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A leading conservative candidate in next week's European Parliament elections has promised Bulgarians tight measures against illegal migration.

Manfred Weber said in Sofia that "the state must win over the human traffickers in the fight against illegal migration."

The center-right European People's Party candidate, who is also running to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president, visited Bulgaria on Sunday as part of his campaign and to back the country's ruling center-right GERB party in next weekend's elections.

Weber's words about illegal migration, which is of significant concern for voters in Bulgaria, received frenetic applause by the 14,000 GERB supporters.

The Balkan country has taken a tough stance against mass migration to Europe by sealing off its border to Turkey with a barbed-wire fence to prevent migrants from entering.

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