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The Romaniain Invasion of 2014

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A week is a long time in politics they say. It can be a life time in the world of newspapers.

A about a week ago I was leaving Bucharest for good and my phone rings

“ Hi, from the Mail on Sunday, can you cover the story about the Romanian invasion in 2014 for us?”
“Sure”
A few days later the Sun and the Daily Mail. They all want the same thing. In 2004 the Poles were allowed to come to the UK without a work permit. Tony Blairs press office said there would be “A maximum of around 17,000 would come over the next few years.”We all know he liked a bit of spin, but 1 million is quite a lot more.
Now ten years later its the turn of the Romanians and the Bulgarians. You can see the worry. The UK government has covered it’s arse and said there maybe up to 450,000 coming to the UK in the next few years.
If your English trying to get a job, what are you going to think? “WTF?”
And I can see their point. Hence the running around I have done to recruitment agencies and transport company’s this week getting quotes from the owners on the increase in numbers of people they think will go to the UK. Only… most of them didn’t even know about the new rule. This is Romania after all, we don’t plan a YEAR ahead, come on.
Most people when interviewed and told about the 450,000 figure seemed quite surprised and said something along the lines of “ Your too late, they have already gone”. The editor of Click, the paper I used to work for here said “ Duncan, this is impossible, we don’t have half a million young people”
But every one has been helpful and allowed is to take pictures and tell the story etc but have not been too happy at the way they have been portrayed in the UK press. Begging gypsy children being the first image that springs to mind.
I can see their point…. I am a photographer covering Romania for the international press, but I also run a tourist business here. So I was rather relieved and amused with the Romanian response to it, with “We don’t want to come to Britain, but you should come here. 50% of our women look like Kate. The other half, like her sister.”
I see both sides, and they are both true… I love my country and I love Romania. So good to see both sides coming together in the end with humor 🙂

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