The British media had warned of a flood of new Bulgarian and Romanian migrants arriving on Jan. 1, but judging by last week’s coverage, they only appeared to have found one.
Victor Spirescu, a 30-year-old Romanian, has become an unexpected star after flying into Luton airport, north of London, on the day EU labor market restrictions on his nation and Bulgaria were lifted.
He has become the face of the new arrivals, featuring in several national newspapers in Britain — including for a double-page spread in The Times — appearing on Sky News and has been interviewed by the Romanian media back home.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper even travelled to Romania to interview his 19-year-old fiancee, Catalina Curcean, in what it called their “ramshackle” house outside the village of Pelisor in Transylvania.
A gaggle of journalists had gathered to greet Spirescu’s flight on Jan. 1 in hopes of a story about hordes of migrants arriving to seek work and possibly to abuse Britain’s welfare system.
Media panic about the new influx and fears about “benefits tourism” had led the British government to rush through measures in December last year, restricting access to unemployment hand-outs to new EU migrants.
Of the 140 passengers on board the 180-seat plane from Tirgu Mures in central Romania, however, most were already working in Britain and were returning from their Christmas holidays.
1. ramshackle adj.
搖搖欲墜的 (yao2 yao2 yu4 zhui4 de5)
例: The house has become a bit ramshackle after years of neglect.
2. rush through v. phr.
匆匆完成；快速通過 (cong1 cong1 wan2 cheng2; kuai4 su4 tong1 guo4)
例: The bill was rushed through.
3. hand-out n.
施捨物；傳單 (shi1 she3 wu4; chuan2 dan1)
例: An old man in shabby clothes asked for a hand-out in front of the train station this morning.