*Tidal Wave of Bulgarians, Romanians to Swamp Britain
A tidal wave of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants is threatening to swamp Britain — and flood our overstretched jobs market.
An EU law means that from 2014, more than 29 million people from the two countries will be entitled to apply for any UK job.
Many Romanians and Bulgarians are already free to come here if they have a guarantee of UK work before they leave their home country.
But many thousands more are here working illegally for cash. One, Romanian Parafeni Vasile, 36, earns up to £130 for a day’s labouring. And he predicted: “All my friends will come in 2014. Why not?”
He is one of hundreds of Bulgarians and Romanians who gather each day in the car park at DIY retailer Wickes in Tottenham, North London. Our investigators watched as white vans pulled up from time to time to take one of the men off to work on a building site.
Bulgarian Alex Marios admitted: “The number of men outside Wickes grows all the time. When I arrived three years ago, it was about 15 men. Now it can be 150.”
Romanian Nicholas Aorgh, 34, said: “At home I earn £200 a month. I can earn £250 a week here.
“We already have a better life here working for cash, so when we can get National Insurance numbers it will bring everybody over.”
Without an NI number, it is impossible to earn legal wages, pay taxes or receive benefits.
At the moment, Romanians and Bulgarians wishing to come to Britain can obtain one only if they they have a guaranteed job before they arrive.
But the Government has to lift that employment restriction by January 1, 2014.
Britain currently takes in around 200,000 immigrants a year, including 40,000 Romanians and Bulgarians.
The Government argues that most of the people from those countries who want to come to the UK are already here — so the law change will not have a bad effect on the jobs market.
But it has got its immigration figures wrong before.
In 2004, when the EU expanded to include countries including Poland, officials predicted fewer than 20,000 people would arrive from the new countries.
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- » Seattle Times: Bulgaria Is 'Underappreciated and Ripe for a Visit'
- » Die Welt: Bulgarians Rescuing Schengen Area
- » Balkan Insight: Bulgaria's Impossible Balancing Act
- » DW Reveals How Migrants Are Smuggled out of Bulgaria