The employment rate in Romania is better than that in the UK, so it is not a lack of jobs that is triggering an exodus.
Romania may have joined the EU six years ago, but many of its citizens feel they are treated like second-class Europeans, shunned by wealthier members of the club.
Lazy stereotypes, confusing Romanians with the ethnic Romani people, have been bolted on to fears of immigration waves swamping local services and stealing jobs from European neighbours.
In January, a temporary annual cap limiting the number of Romanian and Bulgarian low and unskilled workers entering the UK to 25,000 will expire.
The pressure group Migration Watch UK, which claims to be non-political but is concerned about immigration levels, is estimating 70,000 people a year from those countries could now travel to the UK in search of work.
The problem for those advocating further controls is simple – the EU enshrines in its treaties the fundamental right of citizens to travel freely between member states.
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