Deputy Prime Minister Kalina Konstantinova, in a video address released on May 13, has offered clarification to Ukrainians who have temporary protection in Bulgaria about the situation regarding accommodation after the end of the month.
This is the text, as posted on the dedicated government portal:
“What will happen to you after May 31?
This is the only question that excites you today, and it is completely understandable.
Unfortunately, all ill-wishers take advantage of the situation and answer for us. What’s worse is that they answer with lies.
Dear Ukrainians, dear mothers, who fled here with their children from the horrors of a brutal war, from today on I officially ask you not to believe a single word you read or see in public, unless it is uttered by me or a member of my team.
The panic that is brewing among you is only to thwart our plans and prevent us from continuing to take care of you by all possible means and in all the possible ways that the EU is giving us.
And I believe that you appreciate our efforts the most, and it is in your best interest to help us continue to deal with this situation in the best possible way.
No one has ever promised hotels, mayors or anyone else that they will be able to stay in hotels after May 31 under the terms of the humanitarian program. It was established by May 31 from the first day. If someone ever told you something else, they lied to you.
The only way to stay in the hotel you are staying in is if the hotelier decides to cover your expenses or offers you individual accommodation offers. It is his decision and it is your choice whether to accept.
The decision to accommodate you in hotels was unconventional, but it was certainly more than right for many reasons, but mostly because it was fast and safe and gave us the opportunity to take care of you, give you shelter and food, security and tranquility.
But for Bulgaria the tourist season is of great economic, cultural and international importance. This industry provides a livelihood for many Bulgarians and their families, it represents a significant percentage of our GDP and it is our duty to ensure a successful summer tourist season for Bulgaria.
That is why, when we agreed on this measure with the hoteliers, we promised that you would stay with them until May 31 at the latest. But that never meant staying on the streets. The state program for providing humanitarian aid to people with disabilities after May 31 continues in state, municipal and departmental resorts.
How will this happen?
In the coming days, a digital platform will be launched that will collect and process real-time information about your specific needs, which will be taken into account when planning the relocation and the overall logistical plan for your relocation around the country. Do you already work in the area or do you have a job offer from the hotelier who accommodated you? Is your child enrolled in school? Do you have a chronic illness? These are just a few of the questions you need to answer in order to take the best possible care of you.
Is it obligatory to move to state bases?
Of course not. You are free people and temporary protection gives you the right to reside in our country freely, gives you the right to work and be independent. You have the right to find accommodation or live where you choose at your own expense.
But if you have not yet managed to find a job and you do not have the opportunity to rent an apartment, we will accommodate you in the most suitable departmental base in the country.
Why didn’t we start with the polls earlier?
We know that each of you, if you could choose, would return to Ukraine immediately. That is why an earlier survey would not give us correct statistics, because you yourself live day by day and we fully understand this.
We want to provide you with maximum comfort, security and care. We believe that you want it too, and if you help us to get your survey data quickly and accurately, the task will be much easier not only for planning but also for execution.
Once we receive the data from you on their basis we will draw a common road map, which we will share with you. For the most reliable and complete information follow only the portal ukraine.gov.bg and search for information on the national hotline – 02 / 905 – 5555.
Our team will inform you in a timely manner about each next step.
I want to assure you that Bulgaria continues to be here for you, to be here next to you. I hope that this shocking war will end soon and that you will be able to return to your loved ones. But until then, we will take care of you and your children, just as I would like someone to take care of me and my child if his father is at the front.
We will tackle this challenge together.
Bulgaria is with Ukraine.”
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