Romanian politician express concern over UK immigration attitudes

17 Jun 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A senior politician in Romania has expressed concern over attitudes towards UK immigration.

Crin Antonescu, president of the Romanian senate, spoke to British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg at a meeting last week to convey his worry over attitudes towards his countrymen ahead of the lifting of labour market restrictions in January 2014.

He said: "The majority of the 100,000 Romanians living in the UK came here to work. Eighty-five per cent, the highest from any nationality, are in full-time employment. Most are under 35. Almost 40 per cent have a university degree. There are over 4,000 doctors and nurses working in the NHS."

His comments follow disparaging remarks from UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage and others regarding overseas workers.

Mr Antonescu said: "They are not criminals and scroungers [as] caricatured by Mr Farage and his ilk. They pay their own way and contribute more than their fair share to the UK economy."

Writing on, he added: "The majority of Romanians who come to the UK are ready to work. They are predominantly young and educated. They are attracted predominantly to London, by a perceived dynamism and the availability of career opportunities.

"The UK is known as a place where people are rewarded for hard work. They want to achieve, gain experience, and the majority want to return home to build a successful Romania."

Britain has already opened its borders to people from Romania and Bulgaria but immigrants have been restricted from open access to employment initially to prevent a repeat of the unplanned influx of workers as happened when Poland joined the UK. These restrictions will be lifted in January when the number of people expected to move across for work is expected to be manageable.