Bulgaria To Receive EU Aid for Refugee Crisis by end-November
Bulgaria expects to receive financial assistance from the EU for coping with the refugee situation by end-November, according to EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.
In a Sunday interview for bTV, she assured that the assistance would be substantial and would be the maximum possible amount in line with Bulgaria's request, but she did not specify a concrete sum.
Georgieva, as cited by dnevnik,bg, made clear that this was not going to be the last batch of aid, as more assistance had been earmarked for 2014.
She added that Bulgaria could also take advantage of the EU emergency assistance mechanisms at any moment.
Commenting on the protests organized by nationalist parties on Sunday over the case of the 20-year-old shop assistant allegedly stabbed by a man of Arab origin early on Saturday in Sofia, she said that the rallies would a tragic incident into incendiary topic by playing on fears which were understandable at the moment.
Bulgaria's EU Commissioner suggested that it was the right time for state bodies to unite and to speak to the people.
She emphasized that xenophobia was detrimental and expressed concern over the growing division in Bulgarian society.
Georgieva argued that a large portion of the refugees were children and women and they were not going to do any harm, but stressed that the authorities had to be able to tell apart refugees from illegal immigrants and to decide whether they were to be granted refugee status or returned to their home countries.
The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response said that the EU took into account that the growing number of refugees was a new problem for Bulgarian authorities and that not only refugees but also people residing in municipalities where they were being accommodated needed assistance.
She recommended stepping up work with local authorities.
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