How should Bulgaria deal with refugees?

Refugees clashed last week with police at Bulgaria's largest refugee camp in Harmanli, a town on the border with Turkey. Around 1,000 young men rebelled against restrictions on leaving the camp, throwing stones and erecting burning barricades. Bulgarian observers blame the EU for putting the country in an absurd situation.

Open/close all quotes
Sega (BG) /

Berlin to blame for Bulgaria's predicament

The EU partners are leaving border states in the lurch, Sega complains:

“The EU has saddled Bulgaria with a mission that is not stipulated in any of its treaties. Bulgaria is on the EU's outer border and must ward off intruders. As soon as the state has verified the migrants' identity it must let them move on. ... Otherwise it violates Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. ... You can't expect Bulgaria to keep people in the country just because other countries don't want them. ... Last year Germany committed an unforgivable mistake when it opened its borders to all migrants who felt irresistibly drawn to the German welfare state. In so doing, the Germans invited millions of people to enter other European countries that were not in a position to do anything about it.”

Trud (BG) /

Refugees just want to get to the West

The unrest in the refugee camp in Harmanli is the result of an absurd situation that is now coming to a head in Bulgaria, Trud comments:

“Roughly 3,000 foreigners live in the camp, and all of them want nothing more than to leave not just Harmanli, but Bulgaria. The residents of Harmanli don't want them in their town. The state doesn't want them either, but it is doing all it can to keep them in Harmanli - against the will of everyone concerned. This is an absurd tragedy. ... But why are the migrants so determined to leave Bulgaria? Most of them have never had access to warm running water, they have lived in medieval conditions and have been treated like dirt. Now they want a better life, and that's only human. That's why they want to head further West. They don't want to be in Bulgaria, they want a BMW or a Mercedes. Why should this come as a surprise to anyone? For the Bulgarians this is both reassuring and insulting.”