Bulgaria's Kresna Protests Against Plans for Accommodation of Refugees
Around a thousand citizens of the Bulgarian town of Kresna held a protest on Monday against rumours suggesting that their town might accommodate refugees in the event of a heightened migrant pressure on the country's borders.
The mayor of Kresna, Nikolay Georgiev, said that there are plans to turn the former barracks in the town into a refugee camp, which will be used in the case of a heightened migrant influx from Greece and Macedonia.
Georgiev claimed that the option was discussed by Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova herself during the joint training of the police and the army conducted at Kulata border checkpoint in the beginning of March.
The mayor stands firmly behind the citizens and is trying to reduce tensions among the local population, which have been on the rise as authorities could be seen inspecting the former military compound on a daily basis.
The discontent citizens are against harbouring refugees, fearing that they might bring with them contagious diseases. They are also afraid of the possible presence of terrorists and criminals among the refugees.
The citizens have readiness to continue the protests, even to stage a blockade on the E-79 road if the need arises.
The interior ministry explained that no concrete decision has been taken on the setting up of a refugee centre in the town, but different options for the accommodation of refugees have been discussed.
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