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What Britain forgets_ Romania is booming _ The Economist

What Britain forgets_ Romania is booming _ The Economist -...

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More from The Economist Subscription Log in or register World politics Business & finance Economics Science & technology Culture Blogs Debate Multimedia Print edition This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our cookies information for more details Boomtown Dec 17th 2013, 21:25 by J.C. What Britain forgets Romania is booming ON January 1st 2014 Britain will be engulfed (or possibly "inundated", "flooded" or "swamped") by Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants. That, at least, is the claim now being made almost daily by Britain's tabloid newspapers, which appear to be in paroxysms of panic about the approaching expiry of transitional controls on nationals of those two EU member states. Many fewer Romanians and Bulgarians will come to the UK than the press implies (not hard: some reports cite the 29m-strong combined population of those two countries as if it were an estimate of arrival numbers). Still, David Cameron has made a series of media interventions over the past few weeks designed to assure Britons that he is as petrified as they are. Theresa May, the home secretary, has been even tougher in her comments. Quite aside from the benefits of EU immigration (covered in The Economist last week ), part of the story is almost entirely absent from the media coverage: Romania's accelerating economy. Earlier this year, for example, the Mail sent a reporter to speak to some Romanians in their “tiny clay hut”. The finished story, under the headline “by January, the only thing left will be the goat,” gives some indication of how Romania is portrayed in the tabloids. Yet the country is wealthier, more dynamic and more sophisticated than such stories suggest. Unemployment there is relatively low (and lower than in Britain). Its budget deficit puts Britain to shame. The government is in the midst of liberalising the economy, opening up new sectors (most notably, energy and telecoms) to competition and investment. Economic growth is at 4.1% . Wages are rising fast. Adjusting for prices, Bucharest’s GDP per capita is above the EU average. Indeed, the average Bucharest Blighty Britain Previous Next Latest Blighty Latest from all our blogs Tweet 207 About Blighty Political, cultural, business and scientific commentary about Britain, the spiritual and geographical home of The Economist Follow @EconBritain 11.8K follow ers RSS feed Advertisement Explore trending topics Comments and tweets on popular topics Comment (261) E-mail Print Permalink Reprints & permissions Readers' comments 9.7k Like
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