Bulgarian and Romanian immigration hysteria ‘fanned by far-right’

Bulgaria‘s former foreign affairs minister has criticised the “mass hysteria” surrounding the immigration debate driven by the “far-right”.

Nikolay Mladenov, who was Bulgaria’s foreign affairs minister until last spring, said claims of a sudden influx of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants to Britain in 2014 were “politically motivated”.

Mladenov, who is now the UN Special Representative for Iraq, told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme that the media had done well to try to set right such suggestions, which “show that this whole mass hysteria, which has been fanned out by some media outlets in the UK, has been purely politically motivated and that there is no reason to believe that the UK will be swarmed by waves of immigrants from Bulgaria”.

He added: “I think it’s been entirely driven by the far-right political agenda.”

Mladenov said the free movement of citizens had reciprocal benefits for host country and guest resident. “A number of people, yes, have moved and they contribute to the development of your economy, just as much as a number of Britons have found Bulgaria as a base to settle down and they contribute to our economy.”

He added: “Most countries have benefited from open borders and from trade and from development in the European Union, so I don’t think we should be searing of that – we should actually be encouraging it and make sure that those who are qualified find jobs and contribute.”

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