Bulgarian business body estimates country could employ 200 000 Ukrainians

The Association of Bulgarian Employers’ Organisations, an umbrella body for several business associations, said on February 28 that it estimated that the Bulgarian labour market could employ about 200 000 Ukrainian citizens.

It said that it based this on previous surveys, analysis of unemployment trends and labour market trends, and took into account education and qualifications.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, the association welcomed what it called the swift and co-ordinated action by the Bulgarian government in response to the crisis in Ukraine, including decisions to strengthen cybersecurity, the creation of a single information portal and urgent consultations with the private sector on further action. 

“We offer our active participation in overcoming the humanitarian crisis, stating that Bulgarian business is ready to employ Ukrainian citizens who seek and receive protection from the Republic of Bulgaria,” the association said.

Noting that current law said that people got the right to work three months after applying for protection under the Asylum and Refugees Act, it called on the government to shorten the time frame for Ukrainian citizens.

In other news in Bulgaria related to the crisis that began with Putin’s Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:

A statement after a meeting between Economy Minister Kornelia Ninova, Agriculture Minister Ivan Ivanov and the Association for Modern Trade said that Bulgarians should be completely calm about the supply of goods at major retail chains.

“Our country has a stock of grain for the next two years, which guarantees peace of mind in the market. The warehouses are full and there is no shortage of food,” the statement said.

Representatives of the supermarket industry also said that there is no increased demand for goods, and that supply chains were working normally.

The meeting discussed seeking additional funds and ways to support Bulgarian producers to ensure food security in the domestic food market and to limit price growth in the event of escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, the statement said.

The Defence Ministry said in a statement that the current procedure to update the database of Bulgarian military reservists was a routine event, done twice a year for years, and had nothing to do with the military conflict in Ukraine.

The ministry said that the procedure involved summoning reservists to go to the relevant military district for updates on height, clothing and footwear sizes. This did not involve actual military service.

It issued a reminder that mobilisation could be declared only after a decision by the National Assembly and a presidential decree.

“No one has the right, without these requirements, to declare mobilisation and to mobilise Bulgarian citizens,” the Defence Ministry said.

Bulgaria’s Health Ministry said that there was no change in the radiation situation in Bulgaria and no need for measures to be taken for radiation protection of the population.

The ministry said that it had received inquiries from journalists about the matter.

It said that since last week, the National Centre for Radiobiology and Radiation Protection (NCRRP) had increased the monitoring of atmospheric deposits.

The Radiation Control Departments of the regional health inspectorates in Varna, Rousse, Bourgas, Plovdiv and Vratsa had been ordered to start weekly measurement of the specified parameter, and if possible to sample and analyse atmospheric air.

The data from the radiation monitoring systems in Bulgaria are available on the website of the Ministry of Environment and Water: http://eea.government.bg/bg/output/daily/bulletin-rad.html.

Further information can also be found at: https://remap.jrc.ec.europa.eu/Simple.aspx , where a map prepared by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has been published.

The map shows measurements of radioactivity in the environment in the form of gamma dose averages and maxima for the last 24 hours. The measurements originate from about 5500 stations.

Information on the radiation status on the territory of Bulgaria and the relevant recommendations for the population would be published on the NCRRP website, the Health Ministry said.

(Photo: Vangelis Thomaidis)

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