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Schengen zone expands as Bulgaria, Romania join bloc

02:10 PM | 1 Apr, 2024
Schengen zone expands as Bulgaria, Romania join bloc

BUCHAREST - After a long wait of 13 years, Bulgaria and Romania have gained partial membership of the coveted Europe's Schengen area, marking a significant step toward facilitating free movement within the zone.

The inclusion, effective as of Sunday, allows for border-free travel by air and sea, though land routes remain restricted due to Austria's veto; Vienna is skeptical of both countr's handling of migrants which became a reason for the veto.

The decision, hailed as a historic moment by EU Chief Ursula von der Leyen, grants Bulgarians and Romanians seamless access to over 400 million Europeans within the Schengen zone. This achievement holds both practical and symbolic value, and experts see it as a matter of dignity and EU integration.

Despite the widespread applause, not everyone seems to be happy with the decision as the partial integration has drawn criticism from truck drivers, who continue to face complicated border checks, causing disruptions to their operations.

As far as the land movement is concerned, Austria's veto, motivated by concerns over potential migration challenges, underscores the complexities and sensitivities surrounding border policies within the EU. 

Established in 1985, the Schengen area facilitates unrestricted travel for over 400 million individuals within the European Union, eliminating the need for internal border controls.

Currently, the Schengen zone encompasses 29 members, including 25 out of the 27 EU member states, alongside Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, as partial participants.

On Sunday, Bulgaria's Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov told newsmen that the nation aims to achieve full membership in the Schengen zone by the year's end which would entail the removal of border checkpoints for both individuals and goods traveling via road and rail.

Similarly, the Romanian Prime Minister has expressed the country's anticipation to conclude negotiations regarding land borders within the same timeframe.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - PKR to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 21 April 2024

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US Dollar and other currencies on April 21, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro stands at 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound hovers at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.20 and Saudi Riyal's new rate was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 21 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.5 346
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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