|WORKERS OF ALL LANDS UNITE|
11,000 refugees have arrived in Bulgaria from war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East in the last two years, Plevneliev said, adding "We might even be able to give a lesson to Great Britain. As a country that is not so rich and not so powerful, we are trying to understand not so much how many could come to Bulgaria but how we can integrate them."
Despite the president of Bulgaria’s well-meaning words, the conditions of the Syrian refugees in Bulgaria are dire. In a small town in Bulgaria, a refugee camp over 1,000 Syrians are crammed into housing meant for just 400. Many of them without electricity or hot water for weeks and many facing winter in Bulgarian army tents.
This is still Fortress Europe and the presence of some 5,000 Syrian refugees has become one of the biggest political issue in the poorest country in Europe. Support for Ataka, an ultra-nationalist party, which has 23 seats in parliament, has doubled in the past two months. And on November 9th a new nationalist party was founded, promising to “clean up the country of this scum, these immigrants”.
The Bulgarian 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 immigrants are crossing. “Introducing barriers, like fences or other deterrents, may lead people to undertake more dangerous crossings and further place the refugees at the mercy of smugglers,” says Adrian Edwards of the UNHCR. ( Last year Greece built a 10.5km barbed-wire fence at its border with Turkey.) Says Tihomir Bezlov at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, in Sofia. “The main problem, as the experience with other borders shows, is that a wall cannot stop people who are ready to do anything.”
It is the task of all workers regardless of their place of birth to unite and present one front to the common enemy in the common struggle — the ﬁght against against capitalism. The Socialist Party counters xenophobic propaganda by endeavouring to convince workers they will only be able to secure a decent life, free of fear of war and discrimination by the overthrow of capitalism and the building of a classless, socialist society.