Romanian Min: UK Should be Grateful to Bulgarian, Romanian Workers
Romania's labor minister has taken a strong position in the UK immigration debate, saying the country should be grateful for the influx of Bulgarians and Romanians.
"Taking into account the fact that Romanian citizens in the UK contribute greatly and also that many of these people are young and well qualified, the UK should be grateful that these people have come to live there," Mariana Campeanu said, as cited by local media.
The Romanian minister pointed out that the workers from the two countries would be filling job vacancies in the agriculture and hospitality sectors which Britons living off the welfare state were refusing to take.
Romanians are already meeting shortfalls in key UK professions such as nursing and social care, she pointed out.
Campeanu said the majority of Romanians here were economic migrants who did not come to claim benefits.
Last week British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a crackdown on so-called "benefit tourism", citing fears over mass immigration from Bulgaria and Romania.
Under the proposed series of measures new migrants will not get out-of-work benefits for the first three months and payments will be stopped after six months unless they have a "genuine" chance of a job.
But many officials, including Cameron's ministers, believe the government should go further than that.
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