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Britain fears new Bulgarian Roma influx

UK, 6.2.2008 11:23, (Source: Sofia Echo)

Britain should brace itself for a new influx of Bulgarian Roma, who could move to UK to take advantage of its welfare system after a new law back home will force them to find jobs within 18 months, Euroroma party leader Tsvetelin Kanchev said, as quoted by Daily Express.

Roma communities are already well established in UK, and the country may become the destination of many more since Britain was widely regarded as a soft touch, according to Kanchev.

“The new social security measures which came in January will leave many, many Roma people without the means to support themselves. People will either be forced into a life of crime or they will take advantage of community connections and flee abroad,” he told the British tabloid.

“Everyone has heard how the UK is the best country in Europe for work and opportunity,” Kanchev added.Unemployment among Roma is several times greater than the nationwide average in Bulgaria and thousands more could join their ranks unless they find work or take part in government-sponsored work programmes, the paper said.

Although concerns that thousands of Romanians and Bulgarians would flood Britain after the two countries joined the EU in January 2007 have thus far proven unfounded, the fear of mass immigration refuses to go away.

“Bulgarians can come to Britain to work only if they have a work permit or are self-employed and it’s very important that the Government ensures that this is the case,” the paper quoted Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch, a pressure group that lobbies for drastic reduction of immigration to the UK, as saying.

Alex Bivol
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