Press review

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In connection with the refusal of the local governments and communities in Elin Pelin and Shiroka Luka to accept refugees, Dnevnik newspaper explores the ways political parties treat the problem. Gerb has refused to comment on these developments though last summer the government of Boyko Borissov issued a decree regulating the settlement of refugee families in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Socialist Party election platform envisages the suspension of this decree with a view to annihilating the possibility of lasting settlement of refugees whose social security payments are covered by the state. DPS (the predominantly Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms) suggests measures for social integration of refugees willing to stay in the country and participate in its economy. The United Patriots nationalist coalition opposes such measures and supports the refusal to accept refugees with the argument that local authorities and communities have the absolute right to either wish or refuse to live together with certain newcomers. The Reformist Bloc rightwing coalition has said that a refugee is anybody in need of shelter, not someone who has crossed the border illegally. The stance of the New Republic coalition which is another rightwing group is that opposing the few migrants who have received asylum in Bulgaria is the result of institutions not working properly and of populism and according to Yes, Bulgaria group the refusal to register individuals with refugee status is a violation of the law that should be sanctioned. Sega touches upon another aspect of the topic with the headline, “Three state agencies ping-pong refugee children”. The newspaper argues on its front page that refugee centers are full of underage migrants though this is not the right place for them as they come under risk. According to the article state bodies are totally incapable of dealing properly with refugee children who are unaccompanied. In figures of the Social Support Agency, just 17 refugee children were properly accommodated in the whole of 2016 from the total of 425 unaccompanied underage refugees who are known to be in Bulgaria.

Compiled by Stoimen Pavlov

English Daniela Konstantinova
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