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The Warsaw Voice » Business » October 22, 2008
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Britain No Longer El Dorado?
October 22, 2008 By L.¯.    
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Up to 100,000 Polish workers have left Britain over the past year, according to estimates by British immigration minister Phil Woolas.

With an economic slowdown in Western Europe, Polish citizens have less incentive to stay in Britain, as finding a job there is now far more difficult than it used to be just a few months ago. Moreover, the British pound continues to lose ground against other European currencies.

According to the British immigration ministry, roughly half the foreign workers who came to Britain after it opened up its labor market to new EU member states in 2004 have now left the country.

Polish economist Krystyna Iglicka, a demographer and expert at the Center for International Relations in Warsaw, said, "We should not jump to the conclusion that all these Polish people have returned home. According to data from Norway, most of the Polish citizens who have arrived in Norway over the past six months came from Britain. Poles have also been moving from Britain to the Netherlands, Spain and Italy-countries so far unaffected by the crisis."

Generally, newcomers who find it hard to find employment in Britain nowadays are the most likely to leave that country in the near future, experts say. By contrast, immigrants who arrived earlier are not as keen to jump ship, because many of them now feel at home on the British labor market despite the tough times.
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