Bulgaria Took 6 Migrants In under EU Relocation Scheme since 2015

Domestic | August 9, 2016, Tuesday // 09:50|  views

File photo, EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria has only received six migrants under the EU relocation plan adopted in the autumn of last year, the State Agency for Refugees (DAB) has said.

DAB has told news website Dnevnik.bg in a statement that Bulgaria extends inquiries to receive foreign nationals applying for protection in line with the September 2015 decision on relocation taken by the Council of the EU.

As many as five inquiries were made to Greece and three to Italy between November 04, 2015 and July 2016. Greece sent six people to Bulgaria as a result, which the agency described as "nationals of Syria and Iraq".

Greece and Italy were the countries most affected by the migrant crisis that peaked last year, with tens of thousands of migrants still within their territories.

Bulgaria was to received a total of 1600 migrants under a relocation mechanism last year, numbers which compare to other EU member states in Eastern Europe.

Separately, as many as 357 have been sent back to Bulgaria since early 2016 under the Dublin II Regulation, most of these being nationals of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

The Syrian national who blew himself up in Ansbach, Germany last month was also to be deported to Bulgaria, the country that had granted him humanitarian status in 2013, but DAB turned down the request, saying it had held on to its commitments under the regulation.

DAB has not published official statistics about migrant arrivals to the country since early in July, when it did so for the previous month.

But Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova warned last week that an increased activity of people smugglers using Bulgaria as a transit destination was being observed lately.

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Tags: migrants, Ansbach attack, DAB, relocation, quotas, State Agency for Refugees


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