Ivan Krastev: Mass Emigration Has Dramatically Hurt Bulgaria's Economy, Political System
The issue of Eastern European emigration to the UK, as well as its implications in both regions are discussed in the opinion piece by Bulgarian journalist Ivan Krastev for The Guardian.
The brain drain of the East has largely caused heated debates all across the continent.
In the typical for Bulgaria self-mocking tone, regular people often say that those staying in the country can be compared to the ''last samurais'', still believing that home is best.
It is additionally noted that a recent report published in 24 Chasa daily shockingly revealed that more than 3 million Bulgarians are now living outside the borders of their home country. For a population now amounting to slightly less than 7 million people, as reported by the CIA Factbook, the rate is extremely high.
Additionally, a number of false accusations have arisen as a result of the clash of cultures and disinformation, in the author's opinion.
The myth that emigrants were mostly people with little to no education counting on social welfare in the West has been rebuted. As mass emigration was mainly in the ''age range of 25 to 50, the Bulgarian economy and political system have been dramatically hurt''.
Qualified workers are said to be the crucial mass of people choosing the emigrant life as a means to be able to better support their families.
A number of them have stated that they wish to come back, but the mission often proves to be far from easy. Even if they do come back, many find local labor climate far from welcoming.
''Brilliantly talented individuals have undoubtedly benefited from the opening of borders, but so have at least two other groups: bad eastern European politicians and xenophobic western European parties,'' the article goes.
The controversial debate on whether UK borders should once again be closed for Eastern Europe has also been addressed.
According to a recent survey, most Bulgarians consider the past more than 20 years in transition to democracy to have been a ''failure'' at large. However, most do see the opening of the borders to be one of the most positive elements to the EU accession, giving them more opportunities for professional and personal growth and development.
A more severe dilemma now seems inevitable - whether borders should be closed to secure UK's remaining in the union, but risking trust of newly acceded member-states, or vice versa.
The full article is available here.
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