German City to Put in Extra Effort at Integrating Bulgarians, Romanians
The German city of Gelsenkirchen, located in North Rhine-Westphalia, has voiced ambitious plans aimed at helping Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants integrate.
Local authorities expect a wave of new migrants from the two countries as of next year
when all labor market restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians will be lifted, according to local media reports.
The problem is that most newcomers are poorly educated and do not speak German, easily falling victim to dishonest landlords, who accommodate them at rundown, overcrowded buildings.
Gelsenkirchen authorities fear this could trigger a social bomb in the affected neighborhoods.
In an attempt to prevent it, Gelsenkirchen municipality plans to provide language courses, social workers and interpreters to help immigrants’ integration.
The migrants to Germany from Bulgaria and Romania for last year were 7 000 and 21 000, respectively.
From January 1 2014 Romanian and Bulgarian migrants will have free access to Germany’s labor market following the lifting of travel restrictions put in place when their countries joined the EU in 2007.
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