Bulgaria FM puts off Britain trip over migration row

17th December 2013, Comments 0 comments

Bulgaria's foreign minister said Tuesday he had postponed a December trip to Britain because of a row triggered by London's fears of an influx of Bulgarians and Romanians next year.

"We felt the atmosphere was not suitable," Kristian Vigenin was quoted by Bulgarian media as saying on the sidelines of a Brussels meeting of EU foreign ministers.

"By end-January, when it's clear there will be no influx of Bulgarians and Romanians, the visit could be held in much calmer conditions," he added.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has stirred anger in Bulgaria and Romania by raising fears that tens of thousands of their nationals will head to Britain under EU mobility rules, when immigration restrictions imposed on them by Britain and eight other EU states are lifted on January 1.

Cameron proposed last month withholding welfare payments to newly arrived EU migrants and to those unable to find work after six months to avoid over-burdening Britain's benefits system.

Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the European Union in 2007 and are the bloc's poorest members, have taken umbrage at what they see as discrimination against their citizens.

© 2013 AFP

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