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Radio România Internaţional

21 Decembrie 2013
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“You’re welcome” is the title of an open letter to the citizens of Romania and Bulgaria by the British journal “The Economist”.

The Liberalisation of the EU Labour Market



Employment restrictions for the citizens of Romania and Bulgaria are in place at the moment in nine EU member states, but they will be lifted on January 1st 2014.

The only one of these countries that still seems unable to accept this situation is Britain.

The tabloid press in this country, along with Conservative politicians, have managed to create panic among the population about a possible invasion of Romanian and Bulgarian workers coming from Europe’s impoverished East.

Although it can no longer prevent the entry of Romanian and Bulgarian workers, the British government has taken a number of measures to discourage what it described as “benefit tourism”.

The European Commission said London’s fears are not supported by figures, adding that restricting in any way the free movement of workers would not be beneficial to its own economy and welfare system.

The Romanian authorities have taken note of the decision made by David Cameron’s cabinet to restrict the access of EU citizens to unemployment benefits, but said the European Commission was examining the case.

Recently, the Romanian ambassador to London, Ion Jinga, told our station there is nothing to indicate a significant increase in the number of Romanian nationals in Britain.

Against this backdrop, the well-known British magazine “The Economist” has made an open invitation to Romanian and Bulgarian citizens to come and work honestly in the United Kingdom: “Britain’s newspapers”, writes The Economist, “are full of stories about your poverty, criminality and hunger for welfare. Its politicians rail against the European freedom-of-movement rules that will let you in and scramble to make it harder for you to claim benefits. Its population is more hostile than the Germans or the French: almost half of Britons believe their government should ban you from the country even if it is against the law to do so.

You might just, as a result, have got the impression that you are not welcome. But you are. On behalf of The Economist’s home country, we invite you to come and work here.”

The Economist also writes that the hostility in British society today is rooted in the massive influx of Poles ten years ago.

The open letter sent by The Economist also provides compelling arguments to contradict the false idea that immigrant workers are a burden to public services, saying they don’t even use them much, being young and able-bodied.

The letter ends by encouraging Romanian and Bulgarian nationals to come to Britain, whose labour market is the most flexible in Europe and whose people are not prejudiced in practice when it comes to employing immigrants.

Etichete European CommissionemploymentrestrictionsGreat BritainLondonThe Economistinvitationopen letterpolitics

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