Worried about immigration? Then come to Romania - all our women look like Kate and Pippa

Bucharest hits back at migrant fears with cheeky ad campaign promoting tourism

“Half of our women look like Kate. The other half, like her sister,” the poster reads. Another points out: “Charles bought a house here in 2005. And Harry hasn’t been photographed naked once.”

Romania has hit back at British fears of a sudden influx of immigrants, launching its own tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign to persuade disillusioned Britons to travel east and swap Bognor for Bucharest.

“You have bad weather, no jobs, no houses? That sounds bad. Why don’t you come live here instead?” reads one poster on the Romanian news website Gandul, which is behind the humorous campaign, entitled “Why don’t you come over? - We may not like Britain, but you’ll love Romania.”

Restrictions on British visas for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania are due to be lifted at the end of the year, and ministers are believed to be considering a “negative poster campaign” to protect Britain from an “invasion” of migrants from both countries and to correct the impression that Britain’s streets are “paved with gold”.

While even the most modest wages in Britain are far higher than the £300 monthly average in Romania and Bulgaria, Brits travelling the other way will find their money goes a long way, the advertising campaign points out.

“Our draft beer is less expensive than your bottled water,” brags one of the posters, which should be soon visible around popular Romanian tourist sites, airport and hotels – and perhaps even in London.

Noting that Romanians have 11 words for humour, Mihai Gongu, the campaign’s creative director, told The Independent: “The British have the best humour - but we’re quite good too.”

Mr Gongu hopes his campaign will also improve Romania’s image. “Most of us are decent, hardworking people who pay their taxes, in Romania, or in the UK,” he said, adding that he believes the “majority of Romanians in the UK help the economy.”

Extending an informal invitation to Romania, he hopes, will help to persuade Britons that Romanians are actually “nice, friendly and welcoming”, and not “all beggars and thieves”.

“We had to react, to talk about good things,” Mr Gongu said, referring to reports of Britain’s planned scaremongering campaign. “The image of Romanians in the British and European press is biased… We like spending time with our families, going to the pub with our friends after work. We’re exactly like everyone else,” he added. “Our typical family is [like] a typical British family.”

The negative perceptions of the two countries have not gone unnoticed across the border in Bulgaria. There, the government has decided to allocate 440,000 Bulgarian Lev (£192,000) to boost the reputation of its citizens and “affirm the positive image of Bulgaria as an EU member state”.

Bulgarian and Romanian MPs at the European Parliament have also sent a letter to the European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, complaining about the UK’s shabby treatment of the “newest member states”.

“We believe that a wave of hostile statements since the beginning of the year aims to stigmatise [citizens of Bulgaria and Romania] as second-class Europeans,” the letter reads.

They fear that visa restrictions may not be lifted owing to public protest. “We are worried… we hear statements of representatives of the British government sounding a false alarm about the danger of a Romanian-Bulgarian invasion, which would destabilise the British society,” it continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most