Romanians will not flood the UK with a wave of immigrants in 2014, the Prime Minister Victor Ponta has said.
Writing in the UK newspaper, the Times, Ponta said he was bemused by UK tabloid stories suggesting the country would be overrun with immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria once the restrictions on both countries free worker’s movement is lifted at the end of the year.
There had been media reports in the UK that the UK government was considering spending money on an advertising campaign in both countries discouraging citizens from emigrating to the UK. This led to a series of parodies in the UK, as well as satirical counter-stories in Bulgaria and Romania, arguing that both places are a more desirable European location than the UK.
Writing in the Times, Pont said that the UK can be “rest assured” that there will be no extreme influx of immigrants from his country once the Schengen (free movement) restrictions are lifted on 31 December.
According to Ponta, there is a strong belief that Romanian citizens are secure at home, and that the idea that the working population is willing to depart at the first opportunity is pure speculation.
“Our people are, by far, our most valuable, cherished and significant resource. And we will do our utmost to keep them in the country”, he wrote. “For all the work that is to be done in this country we need every brain and every pair of hands available. This is why Britain can rest assured: Romania needs its workers. They will not rush to Britain come January 1, 2014. They will be busy developing their own country.”