Bulgarian Oligarchical Media Dubious Claim: Nearly 50,000 Germans Live in Bulgaria

The Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Interior announced that about 50,000 Germans live in Bulgaria, according to a number of Bulgarian news sites, with the initial source being "Monitor".

We attempted to provide an archived copy of the article, but they have blocked the archiving tool from creating a copy of the article.

We found the claim highly dubious, considering that according to Eurostat data (the official data collector of the European Union), 0.7% of the people living in Bulgaria were born in a different EU member state. This gives a total across all EU nationalities of approximately 49,000 immigrants. This makes it almost impossible for the Germans to be even nearly 50 000 people.

Due to this suspicion, we reached out to Eurostat and they provided a link to their data, last updated on the 28th of June 2018, which claims that less than 1,500 Germans live in Bulgaria.

Monitor is a media organization owned by the Bulgarian Oligarch Delyan Peevski. Data cannot be found currently to support the claim that such a large number of Germans live in Bulgaria. A number does seem to have come previously from a German TV channel called "Stern TV", which claimed that 45,000 Germans live in Bulgaria. Considering that the claim from Monitor was that it was reported by the Ministry of the Interior, EU Scoop has reached out to them for comment. The press office is thus far not answering the phone.

Somewhat recently the German TV channel ZDF reported that as many as 500 German pensioners live in Bulgaria, a far cry from 50,000 - and pensioners were reportedly the majority of that 50,000 number.

Even though this information was not real - thousands of citizens of one of the most preferred Western destinations for Bulgarians have chosen to visit Bulgaria for the last 10 years and have settled permanently, even receiving a permanent residence permit, although they are not needed for EU citizens.

Under the Law on Foreigners in Bulgaria, a permanent residence permit can be obtained in several situations. The most common one is the grounds of education - for students admitted to full-time education. Young people from Germany prefer to receive higher medical education in Bulgaria because it is both high quality and cheap. Another criterion is the conduct of business. Statistics show that this way about 1500 Germans do business in our country.

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Petya Petrova

Petya Petrova is a journalist, believer, and traveler.

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