Romania’s Foreign Minister hits back at immigration scare stories in the UK

Romania’s foreign minister Titus Corlăţean (in picture) has spoken out against those spreading fears in the UK over levels of Romanian and Bulgarian immigration next year. In the last week, the foreign minister was particularly critical of the anti-EU UKIP party and certain sections of the British media, for spreading, in his opinion, completely unfounded scare stories of Romanians and Bulgarians flooding into the UK. There have been many recent stories in the UK press questioning the levels of Romanians and Bulgarians likely to arrive in Britain when transitional controls on the two countries expire at the beginning of 2014.

The minister’s frustration at the use of the issue by UKIP to win support by pandering to fears in the British population was clear and he called into question the accuracy of many recent reports. “I have no satisfaction to see that here, again, the theme of the Romanians, the Bulgarians and others, used in electoral campaigning out of a desire to gain political capital,” said the Romanian Foreign Minister.

He described the treatment and portrayal of Romanians as unfair and said they had in fact made a positive contribution to the years of growth in the UK and elsewhere in the EU, as well as being involved in the work for the London Olympics. Titus Corlăţean also criticized the fair weather friends position that some sections of the UK’s political scene appear to be taking, saying that when Romanians were needed for work, everything was fine, but now that economic times are challenging, they have suddenly become the enemy.

Romania’s Foreign Minister said he had spoken to his opposite number in the UK, William Hague, and received assurances that the UK will honor its EU commitments on the rights of citizens within the Union to free movement.

Titus Corlăţean also reminded of similar fears in the UK back in 2007 when Romania joined the EU. He said reporters had been waiting at airports for crowds of Romanians to arrive and were disappointed when only two Romanian tourists visiting the UK for a holiday showed up.

Liam Lever, [email protected]

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