Bulgarian Hotels Double Register Refugees to Receive State Payouts
More than 50% of duplicate registrations of Ukrainian refugees in hotels since the start of the war were uncovered during checks by the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior. Among them were even unborn children. This included hotel chains owned by the same person.
This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Interior Ivan Demerdzhiev during a parliamentary report, responding to questions about the accommodation of Ukrainian refugees, according to Marica's website. He noted that there are a number of gaps in this process from a control perspective.
This results in the paradox of accommodating 1.5 times more people in hotels than their full capacity. This includes children who are yet to be born, as well as individuals who never crossed the border, Demerdzhiev highlighted.
"We distinguished between refugees and tourists with the Ukrainian ambassador in Bulgaria, and then the number of those who should receive protection significantly decreased," added the head of the Ministry of Interior.
"During the first physical check, we found 3,000 fewer people out of the 12,000 that were supposed to be there," the acting Minister of Interior also stated.
It needs to be determined whether only hoteliers participated in these processes, or if there is evidence of cooperation with Ukrainians for refugee tourism. It is also necessary to determine whether government representatives are also involved, added Demerdzhiev.
This data is the result of two working groups with the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Interior, explained the head of the Ministry of Interior.
Let us remind you, Germany (1,067,755 people; 27% of the total), Poland (976,575; 25%), and the Czech Republic (325,245; 8%) have granted the most temporary protection statuses to Ukrainians.
And the largest number of recipients of temporary protection per thousand of the local population in March 2023 were recorded in the Czech Republic (30.9), Estonia (27.8), Poland (25.9), Lithuania (24.2), and Bulgaria (22.5).
At the EU level, this figure was 8.7.
Compared to the beginning of the year, the number of refugees from Ukraine in the EU decreased by 3%.
The most significant reductions were recorded in the Czech Republic (-122,585; -27%), Sweden (-23,635; -49%), and Poland (-17,180; -2%).
At the same time, the number of refugees increased in Germany (+33,125; +3%), Italy (+7,430; +5%), and Romania (+6,640; +6%).
The European Commission had previously reported that it is ready to take the necessary measures to further extend the Directive on temporary protection for Ukrainian refugees, if necessary, until 2025.
Overall, as of the beginning of May this year, Eurostat has counted nearly 4 million Ukrainians receiving temporary protection in the EU.