Cover

"London–Bucharest: chronology of a misunderstanding," runs the headline on the cover of Romanian weekly Dilema Veche, referring to a story on the complicated relations between Romania and the United Kingdom. A controversy recently marred relations due to the fear of some Britons that waves of Romanians (and Bulgarians) will flood the country once European Union labour market restrictions are lifted on January 1, 2014.

The magazine highlights Britain's Euroscepticism, "a current that cannot be ignored" and which feeds off the principle that if "something goes wrong in our country, the EU is to blame".

Dilema Veche further notes that –

each time there is a scandal, such as the horsemeat affair, denegrating Romanians and Bulgarians has only induced, in British public opinion, resentment towards EU membership.

The magazine describes the erroneous perception of which Romanians are often victims –

We steal their jobs, their wallets, sometimes we occupy their houses, we abuse the welfare system and we build "golden castles". What have we done to the English for them to find us guilty of everything? Are we right to take offence?

Contrary to what supporters of closing the borders of the United Kingdom to immigrants from the Carpathian Mountains say, a recent BBC survey shows, once again, that there will not be an uncontrollable flow of Romanian or Bulgarian immigrants. Romanian daily Gândul notes that the end of restrictions on access to the labour market will have a limited impact on those wanting to work in the United Kingdom. Only 4.6 per cent of Romanians and 9.3 per cent of Bulgarians would choose to settle in the UK at this point in time. Most Romanians say they are ready to leave their country if they are assured of a job elsewhere and express preferences for Germany or Italy.

As for those who want to work on the far side of the Channel, according to the survey, they tend to be qualified workers and hold higher education degrees.