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Germany will veto Bulgaria, Romania Schengen bid

Germany will vote against allowing Bulgaria or Romania to join the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone in Luxemburg if it is put to a vote. “If Romania and Bulgaria insist on the vote the push will fail with a German veto,” Hans-Peter Friedrich said in an interview with Spiegel news weekly. The option of clearing just certain areas such as entry by air or port, was also off the table, he said. The BBC reported Monday that a vote could take place Thursday on the two countries’ requests for joining the Schengen zone. The Schengen zone operates as an international travel and immigration area with no border controls for people traveling between Schengen countries and only external border controls for those traveling in and out of the area. While the EU’s last yearly report had noted progress by Romania and Bulgaria in their efforts to join Europe’s 26-nation Schengen passport-free travel zone, Friedrich said both countries must act “more decidedly” against corruption.