There was a further blow to PM David Cameron’s pledges on immigration yesterday when it was revealed that the Romanian version of pensioners’ favourite, ‘Escape to the Country’, consistently promotes the England as the best country for economic refugees seeking a fresh start.
The show, which has become a cult classic at the GCHQ reconnaissance centre, follows a similar format to the British version but instead of looking at homes, prospective emigrant couples are shown around three countries, two meeting their exact specifications and then a mystery country which is a little different and always turns out to be England.
In the programme we watched, Natalia and Ovidiu Demestrescu from Bucharest told a Romanian Aled Jones that they were looking for a European country with character, period features and good social services to accommodate the six children they were planning. They had a budget of zero to play with.
Firstly, they journeyed to Greece, which Natalia described as “even worse than Romania”. This was followed by a visit to France and a housing estate at Sangatte where Ovidiu’s family had spent extended holidays when he was a child. Unfortunately the unhappy holiday memories and the stench of garlic were too powerful for Ovidiu to seriously consider living in France.
After Romanian Aled promised the hopeful couple, “I’m sure you’re going to love our mystery country,” they were whisked across the Channel.
In contrast to the run down areas of Greece and France viewed, the couple were treated to the sights of London followed by a visit to an up-market estate in leafy Surrey. Although they were accurately told that many immigrants lived at the estate after moving to the UK; Romanian Aled failed to mention that the new residents in question were mostly Arabs and Russian oligarchs.
After a consultation with a representative from the Department for Works and Pensions, Mr & Mrs Demestrescu swiftly announced their decision, saying. “The benefits of moving to England are too great to ignore.”
Quite why Romanian television is so keen on pushing England over other European nations is something of a mystery, although rumours persist that Angela Merkel has provided German financial support, just to piss off UKIP.