Bulgarians Rally in London against Anti-Immigrant Policies

Bulgaria in EU | December 16, 2013, Monday // 08:27|  views

Bulgarians and Romanians protested in London against the planned government restrictions on immigrants. Photo bgvestnik.co.uk

Bulgarians and Romanians braved the rain and cold weather on Sunday evening and rallied in front of UK parliament in protest against the planned government restrictions on immigrants.

Last month Cameron's cabinet announced a crackdown on so-called "benefit tourism", citing fears over mass immigration from Bulgaria and Romania.

The main concern of the protesters is that the negative attitude towards Bulgarians and Romanians directly reflects on their job opportunities.

The leading print and electronic editions in UK regularly discuss British fears of the East European immigration wave and the dramatically increasing crime rates once the job restrictions are removed on January 1.

Meanwhile, dozens of Bulgarian students in Britain are about to interrupt their education because of bureaucratic pressure and chaos, leading to the suspension of their student loans, Bulgarian newspaper "Trud" (Labor) informed.

Students from Bulgaria and Romania have had funds on their bank accounts frozen; others have received letters from Student Loans Company (SLC) saying they were under investigation, because they were citizens of the two countries.

Just a few weeks ago British tabloids reported that student grants for Bulgarians and Romanians would be suspended.

The British Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria denied the information and claimed that tuition loans remained unaffected. However, maintenance loans were suspended due to the unexpectedly increased number of applicants.

The series of measures proposed by David Cameron's cabinet include the restriction on new immigrants who will not get out-of-work benefits for the first three months and payments will be stopped after six months unless they have a "genuine" chance of a job.

Still many officials, including Cameron's ministers, believe the government should go further than that.

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Tags: London, David Cameron, Bulgaria, Romania, benefit tourism, immigration, protest, Bulgarians, Romanians, student loans, tuition, GRANTS


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