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Reader feedback: Confession of a Slovak who will come back

Re: Spain opening labour market to EU newcomers, News briefs, March 6 - March 12, 2006

I am a Slovak working in a wholesale travel agent based in central London. First of all, David, labour from Eastern Europe is no longer interested in working just as nannies or waitresses. Whether this is good or not is debatable, 'cos, honestly, if I weren't here, someone else would be, and it very likely would be a British national. However, nationality is no longer an issue in fields such as sport. Take Arsenal for example, when Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell are out injured, I am not sure if [head coach] Arsene Wenger can put a single UK or English national on the pitch in a starting line up at all, yet Arsenal's games are always sold out, right here, in London.

My point is that, for any private company really, today's competitive world only requires that you can do the job your manager expects and your nationality - just like gender, race, etc. - are pushed aside. This is a new phenomenon as I see it and experience it right here in London.

To have cheap and hard-working Poles rebuild your neighbour's loft makes economic sense to your neighbour, but not for company XY, which employs British builders, who would have been given the job had the Poles not been allowed to come work legally. So your neighbours, the Poles, and their British competitors all see the situation from different perspectives and have their individual truths.

So, gentlemen, I think that opening the gate to Eastern Europe is generous, but brings competition right to your door step and puts you under pressure, which is good for customers, but not as welcome when you are affected by the competition.

And lastly, speaking for myself, I am determined to find my way here in this multinational society called London, but will definitely take my experience back home to Slovakia, as I believe that this is the way to catch up and progress. I pay taxes here, rent, food, transportation, so I cannot really be blamed for being here. There are only a few from Eastern Europe who go to your countries with the deliberate intention of misusing the social systems and I very much hope your governments will restrict those people in favour of your own citizens.

Peter, London,
UK

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