Close to 500 people requested refugee status in Bulgaria in first two months of 2013
A total of 476 people applied for refugee status in the first two months of 2013, according to State Agency for Refugees figures.
In February alone, 228 people from 29 countries lodged applications. This included 25 children. Eighty-two people, from five countries, were granted humanitarian status in February, the agency said.
Refugee status was refused in the cases of 22 people from six countries last month.
From January 1 to February 28, refugee status was granted to three people and humanitarian status to 148 people.
In 2012, a total of 1387 people applied for asylum in Bulgaria, the largest group from Syria, 450 people, followed by Iraqis, 325.
In the European Union in 2012, there were 332 000 asylum applications. In 2011, there were 300 000.
(Photo, of the Bulgarian – Turkish border area near Matochina: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)