Bulgaria to provide two buildings to accommodate 350 Syrian refugees

With capacity to shelter refugees in Bulgaria now exceeded by 25 per cent, with 3600 refugees in the country, the government says it will make available two more buildings that together will be able to accommodate 350 people.

The government will set up a tent camp only if the number of refugees increases drastically, according to interior minister Tsvetlin Yovchev.

Of the 3600 refugees in Bulgaria at the moment, about 1400 are from Syria.

The 25 per cent overrun of accommodation, in real terms, is 412 people. According to the government, which has not yet chosen which buildings would be used to provide additional accommodation, space would be provided for 350 people.

Yovchev declined to say which buildings the government had in mind until a final decision was made.

Yovchev again has underlined that closing Bulgaria’s borders with Turkey, the main entry point into this country for would-be illegal migrants and refugees, would be considered only as a last resort.

Monthly support for each refugee adds up to 550 euro, according to deputy interior minister Vassil Marinov.

Giving an indication of the sharp increase in the number of refugees, he said that 1500 had entered Bulgaria in August 2013, and 550 since the beginning of September.

Authorities had established a system to interview refugees at their initial place of accommodation to identify those regarded as “risky”. The latter would be accommodated in closed camps, Bulgarian National Radio reported Marinov as saying.

(Photo, of the Bulgarian cabinet building in Sofia: Nenko Lazarov)




The Sofia Globe staff

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