Why few refugees want to stay in Bulgaria

27 Apr 2016
Deutsche Welle

The Deutsche Welle reports that more than 4,500 refugees made their way to Bulgaria this year, but few actually stayed.  Harmanli, about 60 kilometers from the Turkish border, is Bulgaria's largest refugee camp.  Rasheed Allawi, a 37-year-old Kurd from Syria, found refuge here two years ago. He is a typical example of the first wave of migrants: Rasheed is educated; he speaks English and worked as a tour guide in Damascus. He fled to Turkey in October 2013, and found human traffickers willing to take him to Europe for 500 euros ($564). His savings got him no further than Bulgaria.  The Syrian has since been recognized as a political refugee in the country. He has left the camp for Stara Zagora, a town half an hour's drive from Harmanli. He still visits the camp on a regular basis, however: the Bulgarian Red Cross pays him 500 euros a month - twice the average Bulgarian wage - to help translate and work things out with newcomers from Syria.

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