Number of Refugees in Bulgaria Swells to 8 736Defense | November 4, 2013, Monday // 17:12| views
Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Tsvetlin Yovchev, photo BGNES
The number of illegal immigrants in Bulgaria has already reached 8 763, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Tsvetlin Yovchev.
Yovchev spoke Monday at a press conference on the Plan to Tackle the Refugee Crisis, which is caused by massive influx of asylum seekers in the country.
It emerged at the briefing that 5 199 of these people are housed in State shelters; another 3 564 are accommodated at other addresses, while 692 are under arrest in facilities of the Main Directorate Border Police.
"There is a no significant increase in crime caused by refugees. We have no records of crimes committed by people with refugee status and by Syrian nationals. We have problems with people who come from North Africa," said Yovchev.
"The problem in Turkey is very serious as there are more than 600 00 persons seeking asylum there. Understandably, Turkish authorities are not able to devote resources to control all of them. This allows citizens from other countries, in addition of Syrians, to take advantage of the situation and try to enter our territory," said the Minister.
Bulgaria is the gateway to the European Union for refugees fleeing Syria via Turkey, many crossing the border illegally to seek asylum.
The country has asked and is receiving EU aid in order to deal with the ongoing refugee influx.
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