POLITICS

FM Corlatean calls on European politicians to deny populist views




In an interview with Channel 5 News, he said Romania had reached its “maximum level of export labour”.
In an interview with Channel 5 News on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean has hit back at suggestions that there will be a ‘flood’ of labour to the UK when immigration rules change in 2014 and called on European politicians, including British PM David Cameron, to fight off ‘the xenophobic accents’ of some British politicians. Asked whether he thought the Conservative Party was concerned about UKIP, Corlatean said:  “It’s clear that there is a pressure in general in Europe from those parties and political movements who have adopted a xenophobic, populist and sometimes racist attitudes – that is putting a pressure on the other, traditional parties.”
“Those Romanians who wanted to leave the country did it many, many years ago… the UK is not privileged destination for Romanians: they prefer to go to southern Europe – especially Italy and Spain – where there are strong Romanian communities (…) We really don’t expect to have this ‘flood’ to the UK because, realistically, we have reached our maximum level of export labour,” Corlatean also said.
The Romanian FM hit out at stereotypes about Romania, pointing out that 5,000 British companies are doing “profitable business” there. “Romania will have a third year in a row of economic growth this year, it’s healthy growth –more than 2 per cent of GDP – and next year will be even better (…) It’s a more comfortable economic situation in Romania. We need labour force in Romania and there will be interesting opportunities in our labour market,” he told Channel 5.
Cameron in pledge to restrict benefits for immigrants
On the other hand, PM Cameron intends to restrict benefits for immigrants, announcing Bulgarians and Romanians will face new rules limiting their ability to claim benefits. New arrivals from the two countries will have benefits stopped after six months unless they can prove they have a realistic chance of employment, he says, as quoted by www.telegraph.co.uk . Among other measures there is also the deportation of those caught begging or sleeping rough, with no return within a year. According to Cameron’s plan, new migrants will not be entitled to get out-of-work benefits for the first three months. “It is time for a new settlement which recognizes that free movement is a central principle of the EU, but it cannot be a completely unqualified one,” he said. Some voters expressed concern about a large influx of new migrants, as Bulgarians and Romanians will gain the right to live and work unrestricted in Britain in 2014, Cameron pointing out he shares those concerns. In an article in the Financial Times, the British Prime Minister attacked the previous Labour government, saying its failure to take a tougher line when Bulgaria and Romania entered the EU in 2007 led to the current situation.
In retort, Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor urged the government not to encourage “hysteria”, telling the BBC that people in the UK were not being told the “full truth” about the benefits of immigration. Andor also described Mr Cameron’s proposals as “an unfortunate over-reaction”, adding that EU rules applied equally to all 28 member states and had been agreed upon by the UK.

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