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Excuse me but I am in a hurry for my 20 hour shift..

January 31, 2013

I have had this blog for about 3 years now and I’ve never missed the opportunity to share with you whatever’s viral online. However, since I got back in the UK for my second year at university (and after I received my precious work permit) I haven’t had a chance to do that.. at all!

Why? Excuse me but I am in a hurry for my 20 hour shift so I will skip answering this question once again. I will also skip the details of how I spend the Christmas Holidays while many of the people that will be reading this post were home with their friends and family.  Furthermore, I will also skip quite a lot of other details because many, many, many other people have already or will soon “enlighten” you about the situation that Bulgarians and Romanians in the UK are facing.  However, I will quickly go through the main points, issues, concerns (or call it whatever you like) brought up in the recent discussions, articles and blog posts.

1. No, I do not believe that the UK will leave the EU. I will leave it up to you to check out how much money UK gets from exporting freely in the EU. About the other benefits that members of the EU have.. Google it!

2. No, I do not believe that those nationalistic statements of never mind who, from never mind what party won’t bring that much votes in May 2013. The current “issue” presented by the British media with Bulgarians and Romanians in the UK is just a strategy for distracting the public attention away from what it should be focusing on.

3. Yes, in 2014 Bulgarians and Romanians will be able to work not freely but at least without the currently required work permit. However, consider how the public opinion will change after this political theatre! Furthermore, how will companies and organisations “see” anyone from one of those countries. Most of them decline work applications already. What’s next? Close the boarders? Kill us with rocks?

4. Yes, I completely understand why those permits are required and yes, they have been a temporary solution for “protecting” UK’s Economy. However, the majority of people (Bulgarians and Romanians in particular) that come to the UK in order to study need jobs to support themselves and their studies (due to standards/currency/salary differences). Note, that one must be a student with regular attendance in order to have the right to work. Also note, that one could work maximum 20 hours per week which means that it’s not like we have the most exciting/well-paid/desired by everyone jobs.

5. No, Bulgarians and Romanians are not burden on UK’s Economy as we’re required to prove that we are self-sufficient before the Home Office. Yes, we have to prove that with bank statements, declarations and many other documents that we have to send away as useless paper.

6. Yes, Bulgarians and Romanians are allowed to apply for a loan for our tuition fees. No, we do not get grants, maintenance loans, etc. We can apply for scholarships (available only for first year students) and bursaries (less than £400 per year) only after we present about the same amount of documents digging not only in our bank accounts but also in our parents’.

7. No, we don’t get the university places and the jobs that are meant for the British people. Yes, we put a lot of efforts to get a place in a university and it’s not because we are bring some diversity in the lecture theatres.

8. No, we don’t get the greatest jobs. And no, it’s not easy to get even a shitty job because guess what.. even a cleaner is required a work permit. And no, it’s not the greatest experience for a law student to practise part-time cleaning whether he/she’s from Bulgaria, Romania or anywhere else.

9. Yes, we do pay council taxes, taxes on wages, etc. Oh, yes we do! And guess where these taxes go!

And last but not least.. No, Bulgaria (and perhaps Romania) is not perfect but that is none of your concern! As you can see we are not a silent generation that’s going to stand here quietly until journalists and politicians rip apart our pride, reputation and everything we’ve fought for.. Because we are not ready to give up from our countries! Because we’re not willing to feel ashamed because we are from that part of Europe that you obviously still perceive as a “black hole”.

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