It will be a win-win game, everybody stands to win when restrictions are lifted, Ambassador Jinga says.
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta told the Euronews television late on Wednesday that, in his opinion, there will be no influx of Romanian workers to the European Union states after the work restrictions are lifted from Jan. 1, since Romania offers sufficient opportunities generated by the economic growth and low unemployment rate.
“Right now, Romania has economic development, but also a lower unemployment rate and has opportunities, sometimes better opportunities than the Western members of the European Union. The persons who want to work across the borders are already there and no significant change will be recorded in this respect,” the Romanian prime minister said, quoted by Agerpres.
When asked to comment the British premier’s attitude towards the Romanian immigrants, Ponta answered he had very carefully read what David Cameron had said and he agrees with him. Ponta stressed that other premiers had said it is in the interest of all Europeans to fight against the persons who illegally use the social welfare system.
“I will always fight for the rights of the honest Romanian workers to go to UK, France, Germany for a better life, a better job, for paying the taxes and to be active part of the society,” PM said.
On the other hand, Ion Jinga, the Romanian ambassador to London, stated on Wednesday that the lifting of labor market restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians in Great Britain on January 1, 2014, will be a win-win game from which everybody stands to win. “Starting in January 2014 all Romanians will have exactly the same statute as the French, Germans, Austrians and British,” the ambassador stated, being quoted by Mediafax. He pointed out that there is no legal framework for the restrictions not to be lifted on the first day of the following year which marks seven years since accession. In this context, Jinga explained that the restrictions have created vulnerabilities to both sides. The Romanian ambassador to London claims that a high influx of Romanians to the United Kingdom is not to be expected after the lifting of restrictions, pointing out however that he cannot evaluate their possible number. The ambassador also referred to the negative campaign against the lifting of restrictions, a campaign in which an important role is played, in his opinion, by the tabloid press in Great Britain.
Catalin Ivan, the leader of PSD MEPs, stated yesterday that the representatives of Romanian Social-Democrats within the EP will ask for harsh sanctions against Great Britain if she introduces supplementary measures meant to hinder the Romanians’ and Bulgarians’ access on the labour market. “We will carefully monitor whether the British government introduces new measures meant to make Eastern European workers’ access to the labor market harder and we will tax them within the European Parliament and will call on the European Commission. Any other measure introduced in 2014 represents a violation of the treaties and places Great Britain outside the European Union,” Ivan said. He pointed out that the introduction of such supplementary measures on January 1, 2014, will lead to a harsh reaction within the European Parliament from the PSD’s MEPs.
Dutch open labour market for Bulgarians, Romanians
The Dutch parliament has voted with an overwhelming majority not to extend the restrictive regime for Bulgarian and Romanian workers later than January 1, 2014, despite strongly negative public sentiments, novinite.com informs. At the end of October last year the right-wing VVD and Labor party (PvdA) reached an agreement, under which restrictions on workers from Bulgaria and Romania will be lifted in 2014, while residency requirement to vote in local elections will be increased from five to seven years.
Immigrants will be excluded from welfare for first seven years of residency, while residency requirement for nationalization will increase from five to seven years, the deal said. The Netherlands was one of the ten EU member states that announced in the summer last year they are keeping job restrictions on citizens of Bulgaria and Romania that joined the EU in 2007. The public sentiment however remains very much opposed to migrants even now and people demand that the Netherlands’ borders remain closed for Bulgarians and Romanians until 2019, a proposal, which is gaining ground in the United Kingdom. Eight out of 10 Dutch people think the Netherlands’ borders should remain closed to people from Bulgaria and Romania from next year, according to a Maurice de Hond opinion poll for the Socialist Party. According to the poll of 1,800 people shows 91% of supporters of the ruling VVD, 82% of SP supporters and 100% of people who vote for the anti-immigration PVV want the borders to stay shut. Even 53% of people who vote for the pro-Europe Liberal democrats D66 want restrictions to continue, the poll apparently shows.