Role reversal: Plumber entices French to Poland

Click to follow
The Independent Online

He is blond, strapping and sexy. He holds the tools of his trade in a suggestive pose. But the news for the French people is that if they want to see the Polish plumber they will have to travel to Poland.

He is blond, strapping and sexy. He holds the tools of his trade in a suggestive pose. But the news for the French people is that if they want to see the Polish plumber they will have to travel to Poland.

Poland has struck back in its war with France over the Polish plumber, blamed by the French for the overwhelming "no" vote in the EU referendum.

Fears of an invasion by Polish plumbers fuelled debate as supporters of the "no" campaign warned that the Polish plumber threatened French jobs by working for low wages.

The Polish tourist agency in Paris has now tried to put the myth to bed through a tongue-in-cheek advert on its website aimed at encouraging the French to visit Poland. "Welcome to Poland", the homepage says beside a picture of the Polish hunk, clad in green overalls and a white T-shirt.

"I'm staying in Poland. Lots of you should come over." The "plumber" is photographed posing in front of mountain gorges and other picturesque scenes.

The Polish plumber issue was fed by a proposed European directive which would allow workers from new member states such as Poland and Portugal to work in "old" Europe on the basis of their domestic working conditions.

The French government has taken the issue so seriously that, yesterday, the French Senate was discussing an amendment to the country's labour law in order to deal with such "social dumping."

"This is not an official Polish campaign, we just did it as a joke as there has been a lot of talk about Polish plumbers during the recent referendum", said a source at the tourism bureau.

Comments