Berlin and Brussels both sold the European Union’s credibility “too cheaply” with their support for centre-right ally prime minister Bokyo Borissov, an opposition politician claimed. Hristo Ivanov, a former justice minister who now leads the anti-corruption Yes Bulgaria movement, said Mr Borissov’s abuses of power had been ignored because of his role in upholding the EU’s migration pact with Turkey. The multibillion-euro pact – brokered between EU countries and Ankara during the height of the bloc’s 2016 migration crisis – led to a huge drop in the number of people attempting to cross the Aegean Sea to Greece.

“It’s a very typical thing: an empire is at its point of eclipse when it allows its border policy to be handled by local warlords,” Mr Ivanov told Politico.

“The thing is that the unequivocal support of Germany and the European Commission for Borissov is selling the credibility and political capital of Europe and Germany too cheaply.

“They could have gained the same level of cooperation without being so unprincipled and without demoralising the Bulgarian public.”

He added: “We have a lot of experience of trying to draw the attention of the competent institutions to eurofund abuses, and they are extremely generous with Bulgaria.

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