As the UK continues to debate Eastern European immigration, some Romanians and Bulgarians are losing their patience, especially after the BBC Daily Politics show failed to get their national flags right.
During an open border immigration debate in which Ukip leader Nigel Farage said that "London and other parts of the country is currently going through a Romanian crime epidemic," the Romanian and Bulgarian flags were put over the wrong countries.
The blunder, reported in the Bulgarian and Romanian press, comes at a sensitive time for the Eastern European countries who have been accused of planning to come here "solely to claim benefits" when border restrictions are relaxed in early 2014.
The BBC Daily Politics show mixed the flags up
Comments underneath the YouTube video on the Daily Politics debate display increasing ire from Eastern Europeans.
Konstantin Kolarov wrote: "I stopped watching the moment I saw that they don't even know what our flags are. Please, UK, don't embarrass yourselves. I like you but... this is just insulting."
Another viewer, Dariya Raykova, wrote: "Is that normal? I mean I totally do not understand how somebody can have the confidence to speak about the economy and express knowledgeable opinion when they do not even know the national flags. Shame on you Western Europe... Go back to elementary school."
The gaffe was also reported in Romanian daily Gandul.info the same newspaper that ran a tongue-in-cheek campaign to encourage Britons to come to Romania after it was reported the UK government was thinking about running 'anti-British' ads to disuade immigrants.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of all images broadcast, however occasionally mistakes do happen. Unfortunately an incorrect graphic was used during a segment on Wednesday’s Daily Politics and we apologise to viewers for the mistake.”
Earlier this week Conservative MP Philip Hollobone said one of the key reasons Romanians should be prevented from moving to the UK because of the number that commit crimes. He made the comments during a parliamentary debate on Romanian and Bulgarian immigration on Monday evening that had been triggered by people signing an e-petition on the subject.
He told MPs that it was not racist to be opposed to immigration but rather a recognition that "our country is full and we will not put up with it for too much longer.
He added: "Our country is one of the most crowded in the world, and we simply cannot cope with another large-scale wave of immigration into this country, especially from countries with which we have very little in common, such as Romania and Bulgaria."
On Thursday the Bulgarian ambassador spoke out again to dismiss such stereotypes, telling the Today Show: "UKIP's description of Bulgarians as 'a threat' to UK social system is utterly unacceptable."
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