Imagine our surprise this morning when we woke up to discover that there are still millions of people living in Romania.
After all, according to just about every news report in the more fascist parts of the UK press over the past six months or so (reports such as this), the entire population of Romania (and Bulgaria) was expected to move to the UK this morning in order to claim British benefits, take British jobs and (don’t forget) kill British dogs.
As of midnight last night, the UK can no longer prevent Romanians and Bulgarians from freely accessing its labour markets. Despite Romania and Bulgaria joining the EU in 2007, the UK had kept some restrictions in place for workers from the two countries. It was this lifting of restrictions which prompted general panic in the UK.
We panicked too. When we checked into a pension for a short New Year’s holiday yesterday we were genuinely worried about whether or not there would be anyone to cook us breakfast this morning.
As it turns out, we needn’t have worried: the UK’s tabloids have apparently been exaggerating all along. The population of Romania did not move as one to the UK this morning.
Who’d have thunk it?