Bulgaria Can Accept Only 1000 More Refugees

Society | September 19, 2013, Thursday // 20:11|  views

The spokesperson of the Bulgarian ethnic Turkish party, Kamen Kostadinov, file photo by BGNES

Bulgaria has capacity to accept only an additional 1 000 refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict, says lawmaker Kamen Kostadinov.

Members of the Parliament from the Committee for Control of Special Services and Special Surveillance Devices were briefed Thursday by the chiefs of the National Intelligence Service, the State Agency for National Security, DANS, and the Military Intelligence, on the issue with Syrian asylum seekers.

Kostadinov, MP from the predominantly ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, stated after the briefing that there was no real threat for the country's national security, but the refugee influx remained an issue.

He explained the cost for accommodating these refugees is BGN 10 M a month.

"We were informed that Bulgaria has the capacity to accept about 5 000 refugees and we currently have 4 000. We were told that once in our country, there is no way we can send them back to Turkey as we don't have a contract with it for readmission. We were also briefed that there is good partnership between the services of the two countries," said Kostadinov.

It was reported meanwhile that Bulgarian MEPs Ivaylo Kalfin and Stanimir Ilchev will insist before the EU on financial assistance to deal with the refugee problem.

Kalfin stresses that this is a problem at the EU external border, thus a common European problem, not just Bulgarian, and the entire Europe must join efforts to resolve it.

"Bulgaria cannot deal with this on its own. This is an emergency situation," stressed he.

The MEPs visited the refugee shelter in Pastrogor near the town of Svilengrad, close to the Bulgarian-Turkish border.

They announced they will ask the EU to send refugees to other member states after they have been granted asylum status in Bulgaria.

Ilchev said Turkey was not guarding its borders strictly and was allowing the immigrants to cross it and enter Bulgaria. He stressed mixed patrols, to include Bulgarian border police officers, must be allowed on the Turkish side.

Ilchev further promised to ask Frontex, the European border management agency, to pressure Turkey to sign an agreement that would allow Bulgaria to send refugees back there.

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Tags: readmission, FRONTEX, turkey, financial assistance, EU, stanimir ilchev, Ivaylo Kalfin, MEPs, pastrogor, Shelter, asylum seekers, National Intelligence Service, Committee for Control of Special Services and Special Surveillance Devices, Military Intelligence, DANS, DPS, Kamen Kostadinov, Syria, Syrian, refugees


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