Sat Feb 2, 2013 6:37AM
Romania and Bulgaria have hit back at Britain for its efforts to put off would-be immigrants from their nationals, saying they are being stigmatized as second-class members of the European Union. In a letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Friday, Romanian and Bulgarian members of the European Parliament (MEPs) raised concerns over their citizens’ rights of immigration. “We believe that a wave of hostile statements since the beginning of the year aims to stigmatize these citizens as second-class Europeans who pose a threat to the social systems just because they want to exercise their basic rights to free movement and work,” the MEPs wrote. In an attempt to deter Romanians and Bulgarians from emigrating to Britain, the British government has decided to turn to an advertising campaign, highlighting negative features, such as bad weather, in the country. The measure was reported to be among ideas being considered by officials to curb arrivals from the two newest EU member states over the next year. Poking fun at British anxiety about a possible arrival of Romanians, Romania’s Gandul newspaper wrote: "We may not like Britain, but you will love Romania. Why don't you come over?" MOS/AMR/HE