More than 700 Bulgarian citizens around the world want to return to Bulgaria due to the coronavirus pandemic, Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva told Bulgarian television.
About 70 of those wishing to return are tourists, though that number has gone down, after an organized operation for the return of tourists was carried out during the weekend, Zaharieva said.
She also noted that the majority currently are individual cases, but some groups are compact and it is easier to organize their transfer, such as the one from Chile, where there are 12 people. The foreign minister explained that the state did not fund the repatriation of Bulgarian citizens but only organized these transfers.
We only give money to people who do not currently have it, but then return it. It is not right to use taxpayers’ money unless a humanitarian request is made, Zaharieva stressed.
She informed that more than 180 citizens want to return from Spain and there are many living abroad, but they think it would be better to return to Bulgaria in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bulgarian consular offices operate everywhere only for emergencies. “We also informed the other countries about the extension of the validity of passports”, Zaharieva said.
According to the Foreign Minister, talks have also been held with Turkey on reducing the kilometer-long que created at the border. The reason for this hassle, according to Zaharieva, is that Bulgaria is on Turkey’s list of citizens who enter the country and require a 14-day quarantine. One of the suggestions to overcome the problem is to replace the drivers with others who have passed a 14-day quarantine in Bulgaria, Zaharieva said./ibna