Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has said hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians are returning to the country from abroad because of the COVID-19 spread in Western Europe and the US. However, a EURACTIV.bg survey based on official data suggests that this is not true.
On 24 March, the PM announced that “Bulgarians from all over the world are coming to Bulgaria because it is safe.” But the data provided by the Border Police shows a completely different picture.
Around 145,500 Bulgarian citizens entered the country from the start of the state of emergency on 13 March till 1 April.
The problem is that for the same period, 105, 368 Bulgarian citizens left the country. This is less than the annual mechanical population growth, which is negative for Bulgaria – the country is decreasing by almost 50,000 people a year.
Other data also show that there are no hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians who have returned.
Only 754 people who worked abroad registered with the labour offices upon their return to the country in the 16 March – 3 April period. For comparison, over the same period in 2019, the number was 808. (Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)