Bulgaria: The Refugee Center in Elhovo is Closing, Ukrainians are Heading Inland

The refugee center in Elhovo is closing, and all accommodated refugees from Ukraine will be taken today by buses to hotels and resorts in the interior of the country, BTV reports. Six buses will transport 220 refugees from the war to hotels in the resorts of Pamporovo, Borovets and the Stara Zagora Mineral Baths. The location is determined by the profile of the people in order to avoid congestion, said the director of the Agency for Refugees Mariana Tosheva. She specified that the buffer center in Elhovo was temporary.

On May 31, Deputy Prime Minister Kalina Konstantinova announced in a stern tone that the government was suspending the integration plan for the resettlement of refugees in the interior of the country, and all those in seaside hotels who said they had nowhere to go would be temporarily housed in buffer centers in Sarafovo and Elhovo.

The Ukrainian refugees had to leave the state-run hotels by the morning of June 1 at the latest. The reason was the suspension of the government's support program with BGN 40 per day for their stay in private hotels. From the beginning of June the same measure is renewed, but with a significantly lower subsidy - BGN 15, but not all hotels that have accepted refugees so far are ready to continue this in the active tourist season under the changed conditions.

For now, the tent camp in Sarafovo remains, but there are no refugees. A place has been found for 60 people in a state base in Primorsko.

According to the government's portal to support war refugees, 301,211 have arrived in Bulgaria from Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. 80,655 remained in the country, and 22,838 people stayed in hotels.

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