Bulgaria's Vice President Blames Politicians for Rozovo Crisis
It is the politicians who should take the blame for the events in Rozovo, where inhabitants forced three Syrian refugee families to leave, Bulgaria's Vice President has said.
Margarita Popova made her comments While on a visit to the town of Klisura to mark the 138th Anniversary of the April Uprising against the Ottoman Empire.
She dismissed accusations against Bulgaria's people, which emerged days after the actions of Rozovo locals who drove away 17 Syrians with a granted refugee status (6 of them being children) re-introduced the issue of intolerance and xenophobia among some groups in society.
"Politicians are those who should educate [the population]... and should be men of vision so that such events do not happen," Popova was quoted as saying by the Bulgarian National Radio.
The Vice President also reminded that, just a year and a half ago, when the refugee issue arose in Bulgaria for the first time, neither politicians nor the media were prepared to address it. She stressed that the media had a certain role in providing the necessary conditions for "Western pen-drivers to come and explain that the Bulgarian population is savage, lives with hatred, is not educated... [and] hates the others".
On Saturday, tens of people in the village of Rozovo, in the heart of Bulgaria, told the Syrian refugees, who just a day earlier had moved in to a house they had rented, that there was no room for them in the village, as it could receive "only Bulgarians".
The seventeen Syrians nevertheless managed to find a new home in the village of Kran, not far from Rozovo, where they said to reporters from NOVA TV channel they had enjoyed a warm welcome and were not afraid of inhabitants.