Hoardele, infractorii, romii. Ambasadorul României în Marea Britanie atacă stereotipurile despre imigranţii români

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Ion Jinga: ‘Romanians in Britain are just like you’

Romanians have become targets in a political and media game in the UK they neither want nor need to play. Anti-EU rhetoric, economic uncertainty and misleading predictions from nearly a decade ago have combined to create a culture of blame which allows misguided stereotypes of ‘bad’ Romanians to flourish, unchecked.

Românii au devenit ţintele unor jocuri politice şi mediatice în Marea Britanie în care nici nu ar vrea, nici nu ar trebui să fie incluşi, a declarat ambasadorul României în Marea Britanie, Ion Jinga, pentru The Telegraph, într-un articol titrat "Românii din Marea Britanie sunt exact ca voi".

Jinga, care însoţeşte o delegaţie de parlamentari britanici pe parcursul unei vizite de trei zile în România, le-a vorbit englezilor despre miturile şi stereotipurile din jurul problemei imigranţilor români din ţara în care ne reprezintă.

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Hoardele, infractorii, romii. Ambasadorul României în Marea Britanie

The first stereotype is about “numbers”. According to figures disseminated by some NGOs, politicians and sections of the media, allegedly 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians – the entire population of both countries combined – will descend upon Britain on 1st Jan 2014. To me, it seems nonsense. All the evidence to date suggests that only about 20,000 Romanians are likely to come to the UK in 2014, and that some Romanians already in the UK will actually leave as part of standard intra-EU mobility.

In 2011, migration of EU-citizens into the UK was 82,000, whereas 204,000 net arrivals were from non-EU countries. In the twelve months to June 2012, 56,000 Eastern Europeans came to live in the UK, whereas 28,000 left the country, leaving a “net” figure of 28,000.

The second stereotype is about benefit abuse. Romanians currently living in the UK are young – most of them under 35, 62 per cent have no dependants, and 32 per cent have only one child, which makes their need for child benefits almost negligible – only 300 child benefit claims in 2012. 85% of Romanians in the UK are employed – the highest employment rate for all nationals in this country. They make a substantial net contribution to the British public purse and pay in far more than they take out.

As their claim for social benefits is so limited, and the measures envisaged by the British government – which will apply to all the EU citizens – are in place to eliminate past abuses, there can be no connection between these measures and the lifting of restrictions for Romanians.

Another stereotype is related to “crime”. Reporting on migrants is disproportionately focused on crime. The tabloid media associates them with theft, trafficking and begging; but evidence produced by the LSE shows that the crime rate in neighbourhoods that have experienced mass immigration from Eastern Europe – Romania included – has fallen significantly. In their overwhelming majority, Romanians in the UK are well integrated and, as Prime Minister David Cameron has acknowledged, “work hard, pay taxes and are valued by their employers”.

The Telegraph,

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