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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect