Bulgaria: Relocation of Ukrainian Refugees from Hotels to State Resorts Continues Today
Second attempt to relocate Ukrainian refugees from resorts and hotels on the Black Sea coast inland. 74 people got on the train in Varna, while on Sunday there were only 5 Ukrainians at the station.
According to some of those already accommodated in the resort of Panichishte, there were not enough good conditions such as shops and pharmacies. And according to the staff at the refugee crisis headquarters, the information campaign for the relocation was delayed.
The refugees arrived in the capital late in the evening. Volunteers greeted them with sandwiches and water, and then the Ukrainians left for the resort in Panichishte.
"Most likely, Ukrainian citizens gave up at the last minute yesterday. We have organized buses and trains. Declarations have been handed out in the hotels, which Ukrainians must sign," said Konstantin Botev, a state expert with the Tourism Policy Directorate at the Ministry of Tourism.
"The main reason for the refusal to transport yesterday was the total lack of information from the Crisis Staff and the Refugee Agency. It was very clear that they would not stay in the hotels. The expectations were that they would be moved to places where they could integrate into Bulgarian society. There are no answers, they are worried about the unknown", commented Roman Kuvaev - a volunteer who helps refugees.
"After realizing that they would be transferred to Panichishte, the refugees began to ask questions. There were no answers. They searched the Internet for information and saw that the population of Panichishte was 9 people. And again they started asking questions - is there a pharmacy there, is there a shop - there were still no answers", he added.
People leaving today from Sunny Beach will be accommodated in hotels in Varna. According to Konstantin Botev, Ukrainians are informed where they are going. "Information is needed for those who have chosen to travel by their own transport," he explained.
The chairwoman of the State Agency for Refugees Mariana Tosheva threatened that, if necessary the Ukrainian refugees would finally be accommodated in the migrant center in Elhovo.
In the last few days alone, more than 1,200 Ukrainian citizens have left Sunny Beach. Most of them have left for Ukraine. On Sunday, a small part by bus, and then by train, left for a state resort in our country. Only the 80 people that will leave to the resort today will benefit from state aid.
From early dawn, Ukrainian citizens, who have said they will leave the hotel complex today, are packing. One part will travel to Ukraine by private transport, as the program to support hoteliers with BGN 40 per day ends on May 31. However, some refugees do not have the opportunity to return home and will therefore benefit from state aid. However, they do not know where they will be accommodated.
"We do not know yet where we will travel. Nobody tells us anything. We are in ignorance ", explained Victoria, who is about to travel.
"Now the girls who left yesterday wrote to us. They are high in the mountains. This is especially dangerous for adults because of their blood pressure. There was no hospital, 10 km away was the nearest settlement", says another Ukrainian - Elena.
The representative of the Refugee Agency Kiril Atanasov refrains from a specific answer about where the people will be accommodated.
Today, however, there were tears of gratitude. "Thank you very much for accepting us. We are from Chernihiv. Kids, we've been here for almost two months. Thank you very much - they fed us, gave us water, we had shelter", says Lena through tears.
Tomorrow the transportation of Ukrainian refugees will continue
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