*EU Chief: Britain's Bulgarian Migrant Debate Is ShamefulViews on BG | March 29, 2013, Friday // 12:05| views
Nils Muiznieks is a Latvian human rights activist and political scientist, and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. Photo by Council pf Europe
By: Martyn Brown
The Daily Express
THE EU's human rights chief has warned British politicians to stop using "shameful rhetoric" to portray Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants as a scourge on society.
Nils Muiznieks said it is "unacceptable" for Britain to treat Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants as a threat.
British MPs have raised fears about the potential pressure on public services if tens of thousands of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants take up their right to live in the UK when EU freedom of movement restrictions are lifted at the start of next year.
However, Latvian Mr Muiznieks, the commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, slammed the language used about immigrants in political debate, saying the trend must be "turned around".
He said: "The political scene in some countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany, has become recently animated by heated debates on the threat posed by an imminent 'flood'.
"The populations of western European countries are being warned about the disastrous outcome of the future 'invasion' by Roma from Bulgaria and Romania to their lands.
"A whistle should be blown here to stop this shameful rhetoric. Treating Bulgarian and Romanian citizens like a scourge is simply unacceptable." Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, has said an "influx" of Romanians and Bulgarians could add to housing problems.
Tory MP Philip Hollobone has said it is "madness to open our borders to 29 million people when we have absolutely no idea how many are going to come to this country".
The Home Office has insisted it is "not helpful" to speculate on numbers after the last Labour government vastly underestimated the number of Polish citizens who came to Britain.
David Cameron and Nick Clegg have announced policies aimed at discouraging immigrants who aim to take advantage of the welfare system.
*The title has been changed by Novinite.com.
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