Bulgaria’s Finance Minister: 16M leva spent on Ukrainian refugees

The state has spent 16 million leva (about 8.2 million euro) on Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria, Finance Minister Assen Vassilev said during Question Time in Parliament on May 13, according to a report by Bulgarian National Radio.

Vassilev issued a reminder that on May 31, the hotel accommodation assistance measure expires, after which those Ukrainian citizens who have received temporary residence will have the same rights and obligations as all Bulgarian citizens.

He said that there was no discrimination, either positive or negative, in respect of the Ukrainians.

Job vacancies, both for Ukrainians and Bulgarians, announced by the private sector and the state added up to more than 30 000, Vassilev said. So far, more than 2400 Ukrainians had started work.

Employment Agency mobile teams had provided consultations to more than 20 000 Ukrainians.

On May 16, a total of 86 mobile points of labour offices will open.

BNR quoted Employment Agency director Smilen Valov as saying that the points would be in places including Bourgas, Pomorie, Varna, Golden Sands, St Constantine and Elena, Kavarna, Primorsko and Kiten, “and mainly in the resorts where Ukrainian citizens are currently accommodated”.

Valov said that the purpose of the points was to put arriving Ukrainian citizens who wanted jobs to be put in contact with potential employers.

As of May 13, the dedicated government portal on Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria said that since February 24, the start of Russia’s current war on Ukraine, a total of 255 025 Ukrainian citizens had entered Bulgaria.

A total of 103 682 remained in Bulgaria and 103 294 had been granted temporary protection.

Temporary protection status provides them with access to health care, education, and the right to work.

(Screenshot of Vassilev via BNT)

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