Bulgarian FM: UK Anti-Immigration Measures Discriminatory

Bulgaria in EU | November 28, 2013, Thursday // 15:37|  views

Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria has called the British government's proposed measures for limiting social benefits for Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants as "discriminatory".

"I hope that the measures proposed by PM David Cameron will not go into effect immediately. First we must see the consequences of opening the British labor market from January 1, 2014. If the fears of mass immigration do not materialize, as we expect, these measures will be unnecessary", stated Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin.

On Wednesday, Cameron announced his cabinet's plans to curb "benefit tourism" with new measures, including the ineligibility of new immigrants to get out-of-work benefits for the first 3 months of their stay. Also, payments will be stopped after 6 months unless immigrants can prove they have a "genuine" chance of getting a job.

"There is no statistical data showing that we can expect a sharp increase of Bulgarian immigrants to the UK", added Vigenin.

The Foreign Minister commented that Bulgaria is very concerned with the UK's campaign against the freedom of movement, especially targeted at Bulgarian citizens, over the past months.

Cameron's proposed measures were immediately criticized by the European Commission.

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Tags: Kristian, Vigenin, David, Cameron, UK, Britain, immigration, benefit tourism, European Commision, labor market, Romanian, immigrants


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