Mayor Says Only Thing Left in Romania Next Year Will be the Goat

Daily Mail
November 11, 2013

The mayor of two Romanian villages has claimed that up to half of their residents will move to the UK when restrictions are lifted in January.

Koller Gabriel-Adrian said he believed ‘50 per cent’ of the 1,100 people in poverty-stricken Berini and Uliuc could travel to Britain in search of higher salaries – and the generous welfare system – in the New Year.

Many have already moved to France, Italy and Spain, but the mayor said the UK would soon become a more attractive destination, with ‘better conditions’, when the borders are relaxed.

Friendly Romanians looking for 'a better life' on the UK dole.
Friendly Romanians looking for ‘a better life’ on the UK dole.

Among those keen to move are 170 Roma who live in abject poverty on the outskirts of the villages, with no running water in their homes and as many as 20 people sharing a three-room house.

One of them, father-of-seven Remus Neda, 37, said he hoped to move to Britain after learning that he could be eligible for housing benefits and NHS care.

Pointing to a shaggy brown and white goat, tethered to an outhouse, he said: ‘In January, the only thing left in the village will be the goat.

Saying goodbye to the goat.
Saying goodbye to the goat.

Mr Gabriel-Adrian, the mayor of Sacosu Turcesc, which encompasses these villages, said: ‘I think it is possible that half of the people in Berini and Uliuc, the Romanian and Roma people, will go to the UK next year.

‘In particular, the young people will go, because they don’t have anything here. They will go to work in agriculture and construction, but also for the benefits.

‘My advice to Britain would be not to give people everything. You should take care because, if everybody goes to the UK, what will you do? Can you afford it?

Luxury Romanian accomodation.
Luxury Romanian accommodations.

‘People do not have big salaries here and will obviously be interested in the salaries and the benefits in England.’

Reflecting growing tensions in Romania, he singled out the Roma community as the most likely to move, saying: ‘It is not a bad thing for us that they want to go somewhere else in Europe.

‘They will go to the UK, get the benefits and maybe come back home with the money, because it is worth more here.’

Romanian hammock.
Romanian hammock.

The Roma in Berini live in a cluster of clay huts and survive on cabbages, potatoes and corn, which they grow themselves, as well as meagre state benefits.

From January 1, all 29million people living in Romania and Bulgaria will be given the same rights as other EU citizens to live and work in the UK.

Restrictions on access to benefits and NHS care – imposed when they joined the EU in 2007 – are being lifted.

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