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Monday, September 25, 2006

Difficult Times Ahead?

I have a post on Afoe about the dangers of contamination across Eastern Europe following the recent turbulence in Hungary.

Now one of the worries that must arise in these circumstances is whether a sudden downturn in some of these 'Lynx' economies could produce a haemorrage of you educated people outwards in search of work. If this were to happen this short-term crisis could have important long term supply-side consequences. Again, something else to watch for.

On this topic, the FT have details of an interview they had with Romanian Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu. Tariceanu is really at pains to re-assure Western Europeans (especially in the UK) that there will not be a sudden influx of Romanians after EU accession. My feeling is that the West Europeans have little to fear here (as he says the educated Romanians will head North, and the less educated ones will head South, and this doesn't seem to me to present any kind of problem). What he maybe should be considering is the impact of this on Romania itself: needless to say, in the current climate I think his growth expectations for the Romanian economy are way too high.

Romania dismisses EU emigration fears

Romania will win approval on Tuesday to join the European Union on January 1, but the country’s prime minister has denied that it will spark a massive wave of emigration from the Black Sea state.

Calin Tariceanu claims his country is in the middle of an economic boom that could see its gross domestic product double within 12 years, drawing migrant workers to Romania.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Tariceanu also appealed to the British media and public – racked by a debate about the recent arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from Poland and other new EU member states – to remain calm: “People with higher educational levels might go to the UK but I don’t see too many.”

He said most poor Romanians would head to Italy and Spain, where they would have less trouble with the language, and only those with better schooling would go to the UK.

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