Bulgaria Migrant Accommodation Centers 'Half Empty'Society | September 26, 2015, Saturday // 11:12| views
Instead of registration, many migrants who arrive in Bulgaria opt for a downtown area of the capital Sofia where hundreds of people from the Middle East and North Africa have lived for the past years. Photo by BGNES
Beds in accommodation centers for asylum seekers in Bulgaria are only 49 percent full, authorities say.
Data from the State Refugee Agency (DAB) comes against the backdrop of reports of increased migratory pressure at the southeastern border between Bulgaria and Turkey.
Most migrants who manage to cross into Bulgaria prefer not to stay and avoid being registered, only using the country's territory to reach Germany.
As of September 25, people accommodated at the centers around Bulgaria numbered 2513, compared to a "full" capacity of 5130.
The website Dnevnik.bg quotes Deputy Interior Minister Filip Gounev as saying that people who have been granted refugee status here also tend to depart for Western Europe.
In his words, some 1500-2000 people enter the accommodation centers every week but most of them leave.
The number of people applying for asylum has increased in August (1447) compared to the first months of 2015 (1000-1200) and earlier in the summer (1200-1400), data also suggests.
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