Bulgaria warns migration laws risk Britain`s reputation
London: Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, warned Prime Minister David Cameron his tough rhetoric and policies on immigration risked damaging Britain`s reputation and leaving it isolated.
Plevneliev told The Observer newspaper yesterday that Britain should see itself as "a great global power that pioneered integration" and resist nationalist calls for hard laws to limit immigration.
Cameron recently announced that he would rush through legislation banning migrants from other EU countries from claiming unemployment and housing benefits until they have been in Britain for three months as part of a package of measures to restrict "benefit tourism".
"Isolating Britain and damaging Britain`s reputation is not the right history to write," warned Plevneliev, in an interview published on the British paper`s online edition.
"Bulgarian people are raising a lot of questions today about the democratic, tolerant and humane British society.
"Are we in Great Britain today writing a history of a switch to isolation, nationalism and short-term political approaches?" he asked.
Many Britons are concerned about an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians when they gain full rights under EU law to live and work in Britain from the start of next year.
Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2007 but still remain the bloc`s poorest members with salaries a fraction of the European average.
The president suggested that Cameron follow his approach and worry about how to integrate newcomers rather than how many were going to arrive.
Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin on Thursday slammed Britain`s clampdown as being driven by unfounded "hysteria".
"Bulgarians are not beggars in Britain," he stressed.
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