Monday, April 24, 2006

Poles Invade Britain (And Rest of Western Europe)

When I was in London a year, I was surprised to hear plenty of Polish spoken behind the counter at Starbucks and many other places around the city. And now there's proof that my fellow compatriots are going to Britain in droves. According to an article in the Evening Standard (sorry, no link):

AROUND two million people have traveled to the UK from Poland since it joined the EU two years ago, official figures reveal today.

The number of arrivals has quadrupled and comfortably exceeds the population of Warsaw.

The figure includes holidaymakers, students and business people but more than 200,000 have signed up to the Government's employment register in the last two years - a 58-fold increase on the 3,459 given permission to work here in 2003.

Not included in the statistics are the self-employed and those working on the black market to avoid taxes.

I'd imagine there are similar statistics in places where Poles can find jobs, like Ireland or Germany or Holland. The Isles have been especially helped by the growing popularity of the no-frill airlines, like Ryanair. And I remember reading not too long ago Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary dissing Poland as a revenue source.

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