UK
22/12/2013 10:00 GMT

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev Says Britain Profits From Immigration

As tensions heighten over the possible "influx" of Bulgarian and Romanians from next month, Bulgaria's president criticised the fear tactics being used by some politicians.

Rosen Plevneliev told the Observer: "You see, of course, Great Britain will make its planning and will take its decisions.

|But some of them could be right, some of them could be wrong. Some of them are bold and some of them are, I would say, not long-term orientated decisions.

rosen plevneliev

Bulgarian president Rosen Plevneliev has warned that Britain is neglecting the benefits of immigration

"You want to make a plan for a better future for your citizens in Great Britain.

"In the past 20 years immigrants in Great Britain contributed heavily to its prosperity, and that is a fact.

"The only thing that is important is not to listen to populist politicians who play on people's fears but to listen to the wise men in Great Britain.

"Listen to the institutions who are giving the facts. University College London has very clear data showing that in the past 20 years immigrants contributed 34% more than they took out.

"You guys are making profit out of this. So that is really great. Keep it like that."

The Romanian ambassador to Britain, Dr Ion Jinga, has insisted that it was likely fewer Romanians would decide to move to the UK in 2014 than in previous years.

"It is in the interest of all European countries to fight against abusing the social and benefits systems, and Romania fully supports legal measures against those that break the law," he said.

"But this must not affect the principle of free movement of people. Most of Romanians who came to the UK did so for work, not for benefits. We plead in favour of honest, hard working people, who pay taxes and contribute to the society."