Bulgaria's Europe alley, EU's southeastern gate

15:12, June 05, 2010      

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by Marian Draganov

The Europe alley, located in a small village called Rezovo on the border of Bulgaria and Turkey, some 500 km from the Bulgarian capital Sofia, is the southeasternmost point of the European Union (EU).

There is a street sign hanging there from the very first minute of 2007, when Bulgaria joined the EU. Dimo Mavrov, owner of the only house in this alley who made the sign, told Xinhua on Friday: "I wanted to mark somehow this date."

Europe is the first name of this street. Before 2007 it was only numbered, like all other streets of this small village -- even today they still have only numbers but no names.

The naming of this street in fact marked the biggest change of Rezovo. Until 1991 this village was the most southeastern point of the Warsaw Pact. The then enemies, Turkey and NATO, were close at hand, and only Rezovo's local residents and military personnel could enter the village.

The border area still starts 10 km north of Rezovo, and lying 3 km before the village are two lines of barbed fence, but nobody stops the tourists now -- Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004, and the strict entrance prohibition was repealed even earlier.

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