The refugee center in the western village of Kovachevtsi will be closed, according to Nikolay Chirpanliev, Chair of Bulgaria’s State Agency for Refugees.

In an interview for Presa daily, Chirpanliev says that the authorities will have to move some 100 people, who currently live there, to other centers.

Chirpanliev explains the decision with the unbearable heating bills amounting to tens of thousands of leva.

In his words, the site, built before 1989, is difficult to heat, with 3-4 people sleeping on an area of 90 square meters.

He admits that the tensions over the protest of locals against refugee children attending classes at a school in the locality are also among the reasons behind the decision to close the refugee center.

The closure of the site by October 31 was requested by Kovatchevtsi Mayor Vasil Stanimirov and municipal councilors several months ago.