In Your Face

In Your Face
Thought provoking opinions on topical issues.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Paranoia Over the Enlarged EU

As from May 2004 the EU will be joined by a number of countries from the old Soviet Bloc including; Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.

Predictably, certain elements of the British press have whipped up a frenzy of fear and loathing.

We are told that we can expect thousands of economic migrants "swamping" our overstretched infrastructure, and taking our hard earned benefits away.

Well, let me shine a little light of reality on this "paranoid claptrap". I have travelled many times to many of these countries, including the Baltic States, on business. In my opinion, this country could do a lot worse than have a wave of immigration from the population of these countries.

The people of these countries have a number of admirable characteristics, including:

  • A high level of education

  • A good grasp of English, among many

  • A desire to shrug off the restrictions of the old Soviet era, and a welcoming attitude to change and progress

  • A desire to work hard to better themselves

  • An inspired entrepreneurial streak, that the UK could most certainly do with

  • Aside from the benefits of the citizens of these countries choosing to make their homes in the UK, there are other benefits of enlargement:

  • The enlargement of the EU will open up previously closed markets, hence creating an opportunity for economic growth.

  • The ex Soviet economies are ripe for Western entrepreneurs to set up businesses, and earn healthy revenue streams which benefit all.

  • It may be that given the opportunities available in these countries, some British citizens will emigrate there instead.

  • I certainly enjoyed my time when I was there and, if a good opportunity arose, may well do the same myself.

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