Bulgarian Policemen's Language Skills Problematic for Tourists - Diplomats

Diplomacy | October 23, 2012, Tuesday // 19:14|  views

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetanov gave a press briefing after meeting with foreign ambassadors. Photo by BGNES

One of the gravest problems for foreign tourists in Bulgaria is the "language barrier" between the international travelers and the Bulgarian police officers, foreign diplomats have told Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Tsvetanov met with foreign ambassadors in Sofia on Tuesday to discuss the summer season and the issues that foreign tourists are faced with when on vacation in Bulgaria.

Measures to take down the "language barrier" are the diplomats' main recommendation, BGNES reported, citing statements at the meeting.

Tsvetanov has reminded that a total of 577 police officers from all over Bulgaria were sent to the Black Sea coast resorts for the summer in order to boost security; the same policy applies to the winter season when Bulgaria's major ski resorts will get additional police forces.

UK Ambassador in Sofia Jonathan Allen, however, has pointed out that the inability to communicate with the police because of the "language barrier" is the most important problem for international tourists in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria's Interior Minister has promised that in order to find a quick solution to the problem, the Interior Ministry will employ students at its Police Academy, and that by January 2013 the institution will revamp its forms in various languages.

Tsvetanov did stress that about 12%-14% of Bulgaria's GDP comes from tourism, and that in the summer of 2012 Bulgaria saw 5% more tourists year-on-year.

He said the investigation of the July 18 terrorist attack in Bulgaria's Burgas that took the lives of 5 Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver was not discussed with the foreign ambassadors, and that he had nothing new to reveal to the public.

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Tags: Interior Minister, interior ministry, foreign tourists, tourists, tourism, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Black Sea coast, resorts, resort, summer resorts, winter resorts, ski resorts, Jonathan Allen, UK Ambassador, foreign languages, language skills, language skills


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