Bulgaria: A nightmare for all

“THIS is a nightmare, I want to go back to Syria,” says Youssef (not his real name), who has fled from his war-torn country and is now in a squalid refugee camp in south-eastern Bulgaria. He is shocked by the lack of urgently needed medical help, the scarcity of food—and the sight of crumbling old buildings where up to ten desperate families share a single room, and ten such rooms have the use of only one leaky toilet.Youssef is one of thousands of Syrian refugees in Bulgaria, the poorest European Union country. Dozens more are crossing the border with Turkey every day. Around 10,000 migrants (two-thirds of them from Syria) have arrived so far this year, a sevenfold increase from last. Authorities have basic facilities ready for only half of them.The influx caught the government unprepared. It is now rushing to build new shelters and improve the miserable conditions at the existing ones. It has asked the EU, the Red Cross and other international organisations for financial assistance.The government is also building a controversial 33km (21-mile), 3-metre tall fence in the mountainous region of Elhovo, near the border with Turkey, where about 85% of the illegal…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/europe/21590946-bulgaria-struggling-cope-syrian-refugees-nightmare-all?fsrc=rss|eur

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