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Migrants Have Positive, Not Negative Impact on Wales - Church Leader

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | January 1, 2014, Wednesday // 13:21| Views: 1587 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Migrants Have Positive, Not Negative Impact on Wales - Church Leader File photo

Wales has nothing to fear from migrants arriving from Bulgaria and Romania, a leading church figure has said as EU opened its doors for workers from the two Eastern European countries on Wednesday.

“Over the years, migration has been good for both Wales and the UK,“ Rev Aled Edwards, the chief executive of Cytun Churches Together in Wales, has commented, as cited by Wales Online.

“There will, of course, be some issues around the Bulgarian and Romanian migration - but none of them are insurmountable.

“The real difficulty here is that the issue has become disproportionately political. That causes problems, particularly for migrants who come to this country with a view to work and make a contribution.”

At midnight last night, temporary immigration controls, which have limited the number of Romanians and Bulgarians entering the British labour market since 2007, ended.

Lifting those controls has become a major focus of EU migration debate, with opponents claiming newcomers will tap into the UK’s “generous” benefits system. The same concerns were raised in 2004, when the introduction of eight new eastern European countries to theEU paved the way for a significant increase in Polish migration.

For Rev Edwards migrants have a positive, not negative impact on Wales.

He said: “I dread to think of a Wales without migrants and a number of areas would suffer.

“Academia is one such example, where there are a lot of students from other countries coming to Wales. Medicine is another.

“And, of course, the economy also benefits.”

He added: “This xenophobia has to stop because the reality is, Wales has benefited hugely from migrant workers.”

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