MEPs Want Bulgarian Reaction to Immigration Hysteria in UKBulgaria in EU | February 3, 2013, Sunday // 13:36| views
According to Bulgarian MEPs, tens of thousands of Bulgarians now live, work, and study in the UK, but most are experts, highly skilled and educated, contributing to the British economy. File photo
Bulgaria has failed so far to state its official and firm position on the anti-Bulgarian and anti-Romanian campaign waged by Great Britain, Bulgarian MEPs say.
Speaking Sunday for bTV, the nationalist Member of the European Parliament, Dimitar Stoyanov, and Iliyana Yotova, MEP from the left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, joined around the idea it was high time for the Foreign Affairs Ministry to "strike back" in protection of Bulgaria.
According to them, the smear campaign against immigrants, expected to arrive in 2014 in Great Britain, is not the official position of the British government on paper only, however in reality, tabloids and serious press alike, and top politicians such as Prime Minister, David Cameron and the Mayor of London, were getting involved n the same negative rhetoric.
"This is the general mood in Great Britain, but it was actually generated by their own problems, not by us. For this reason, Bulgaria must have a firm, united position. The reaction must be much stronger. The European Commission also needs to take a stand, since such talk is an insolent violation of EU contracts," Yotova stated, giving as example neighboring Romania, which already launched an initiative to protect its citizens and their prestige.
Stoyanov noted that tens of thousands of Bulgarians now live and work in the UK, but most are experts, highly skilled and educated, contributing to the British economy, instead of the one in their homeland.
"We should not get offended by some true statements. It is true life for most Bulgarians is miserable and most are poor, but migration is a two-way issue – it could be a problem for them as it is for us – our nation is melting. And while they are staring at us, Africans and Asians are not sleeping either. They will continue to arrive in England, the Netherlands, Sweden... We need to seek a common solution. A ban is not a solution," he explained.
However, Monika Panayotova, MEP from the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, disagreed with her colleagues in saying the country has already made significant effort to alleviate fears of Brits regarding a wave of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants in 2014.
She gave as examples talks between William Hague, British Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State, and his Bulgarian counterpart, Nikolay Mladenov, correspondence between Cameron and Bulgarian PM, Boyko Borisov, and statements from the British Embassy in Sofia pledging Bulgarians would not be discriminated against.
Bulgarian MEPs are also preparing to launch a pro-Bulgarian campaign in the EP to have a larger debate among institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg.