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Politics & press news – Embassy 45

Envoy counters anti-immigration hype

Romanian Ambassador Ion Jinga has gone on the offensive to put negative media reports about Romanian immigration into context in the run-up to the lifting of EU restrictions on freedom of movement at the end of the year.

Commenting on recent reports that 27,725 Romanians were arrested in London, the second highest number of foreign national arrests after Poles, the Ambassador pointed out that a relatively small number, 624, went on to be detained, (6 per cent of the foreign national prisoner population).

He said estimates by UK anti-immigration NGO, Migration Watch, that 50,000 Romanians would “flood” the UK were “alarmist”, since most of those who had wanted to relocate to the UK had already done so legally as self-employed workers.

He also warned that inflammatory anti-Romanian rhetoric, including false allegations that a Romanian abattoir was behind the horse meat scandal,could spark racist attacks against his countrymen.

Jinga added the UK had a right to overhaul its benefits system to avoid abuses by migrants, provided it was “fair” , complied with EU law and applied to all EU nationals.

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