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Bulgarian berry pickers evacuated to Stockholm

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Bulgarian berry pickers evacuated to Stockholm
Bulgarian ambassador Svetlan Stoev meets berry pickers near Söderhamn.
10:15 CEST+02:00
Some 100 hundred Bulgarian berry pickers left stranded in the forests near Svabensverk in northern Sweden have been transported by coach to the Bulgarian embassy in Stockholm.

"They have said that they want to go to the embassy in order to be given help to get home, their situation is incredibly difficult," said Yoomi Renström at Ovanåker municipality which has organised the coaches.

The berry pickers have been collected from camps some 10 kilometres outside of Svabensverk and on Monday night their began to filter into town looking for food.

Local residents have in the meantime been supplying them with food and on Tuesday they were given shelter in municipal premises.

Bulgaria's ambassador Svetlan Stoev who today will meet with staff from the foreign ministry, has expressed disappointment over the decision to send the berry pickers to the embassy.

"To send people here is not a solution, first we need to be informed about it and secondly it makes no sense to simply transfer the problem from one place to another," he said.

According to the ambassador, there are now 63 Bulgarians outside the embassy in Stockholm, all seeking assistance in order to return home.

"We have asked for help from the social services in Stockholm, but we do not know what to do with all these people," he said.

Stoev said the whole situation is surprising as the embassy has not been told anything about the problems which have existed before.

"But the meeting yesterday with local authorities and police in Söderhamn was very informative," he said.

TT/The Local/pvs

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