Roma are EU citizens too, Romanian President says
Romanian President Traian Basescu on Friday (31 January) strongly defended freedom of movement within the EU, saying Roma have the same rights as other EU citizens and should not be misused for populist campaigns.
Seven years after Romania joined the EU, Basescu said that his country is still not "fully integrated" as it is waiting to be accepted in the border-free Schengen area and, sometime in 2018-2019, in the eurozone.
"But I am happy from 1 January we are now fully integrated on the EU labour market," the President told journalists in Berlin, in reference to the lifting of labour market restrictions for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens.
Basescu criticised the campaign against so-called social tourism in Germany, led by the Bavarian Conservatives (the CSU), whose slogan for the EU elections is "who cheats is kicked out."
"First of all I reject the term migration within the EU. We are all EU citizens, there is a single market, so there is no 'migration'," he said.
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