Nigel Farage Has 'Massive Problem' with RomaniaWorld | May 30, 2014, Friday // 14:18| views
UKIP's Nigel Farage has made Romanian and Bulgarian immigration into Britain one of the core issues of his European elections campaign. Photo by EPA/BGNES
UK Independence Party (UKIP)'s leader Nigel Farage has made fresh remarks referring to Southeastern Europe in an interview with a US TV channel.
"I haven't got a problem with Romanians. I have a massive problem with Romania," Farage told CNBC on Thursday.
In his view, "known criminal gangs" from Romania were heading to Britain, and EU rules on freedom of movement forced officials to allow them entry.
"Organized criminal gangs have got countries like Romania in their grip," Farage also explained, adding that that some post-communist countries had not made the transition to full Western democracy.
The UKIP leader also reiterated he was confident that UKIP would win a "good number" of seats in next year's general elections and that would enable it to start a referendum on whether the UK should remain in the EU. Earlier he said he believed that Britain could thrive on free trade after leaving the bloc.
Farage's interview with CNBC came days after European elections saw the victory of Euroskeptics in a number of EU countries such as the UK, France, Denmark and Hungary.
In the case of UKIP, considered by many to be xenophobic, a huge part of its European elections campaign targeted immigrants from EU members Bulgaria and Romania, which joined in 2007, but which saw labor market restrictions lifted on January 1 this year.
Farage had repeatedly warned that once the market was opened, 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians (more than the two countries' combined population) would flock to Britain seeking their way out of the two poverty-stricken member states.
No evidence of such trend has been observed so far.
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