Bulgaria intends prolonging humanitarian accommodation scheme for Ukrainian refugees to end of 2023

The programme by which there is state support for accommodation of people displaced from Ukraine and who have temporary protection in Bulgaria will be extended beyond its current expiry date at the end of June 2023, the Tourism Ministry said on June 14.

“Work is underway to extend it until the end of 2023, and information on the amendments, rules and order of its operation will be provided in a timely manner after a decision by the Cabinet,” the ministry said.

The system was put in place in 2022 by the Kiril Petkov government of the time, soon after Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, and provided for sums in state support for places of accommodation housing Ukrainian refugees – strictly speaking, those granted temporary protection by Bulgaria under an EU directive.

It was extended repeatedly, although the caretaker government appointed by President Roumen Radev cut back the scale of the support.

Soon before leaving office to make way for an elected successor, caretaker Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev alleged that there had been widespread abuse of the system at the time of the Petkov government, though substantial proof of this allegation has not emerged. The Petkov government was in office for about six months, before being succeeded by two caretaker governments that, in sum, were in office for nine months.

There have been reports of several places, ranging from hotels to universities, recently being obliged to pay back sums that they had been granted through the system.

The Tourism Ministry’s June 14 statement gave several guidelines for the working of the scheme (available at this link, in Bulgarian), saying that it was responding to frequent questions about it.

(Photo: Just4You/freeimages.com)

Please support The Sofia Globe’s independent journalism by becoming a subscriber to our page on Patreon:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292