Practically every shop we visited in Malta was managed by European migrants, from EU and far beyond but mainly Rumanians, Russians, Bulgarians, from Balkan States and the British, as English is spoken widely throughout the island and Malta was once a British colony.
As we visited these shops on a daily basis, mainly to buy British newspapers, snacks and soft drinks, we became friendly with young Rumanian shop assistants, most in their early twenties, speaking fluent English and many with University degrees in English and other European languages, accountancy and business studies.
They were highly praised by their Maltese shop owners who left managing their shops to these girls, with complete trust, as many have several shops in different parts of Malta. Corner shops thrive in Malta, as multi-chains and supermarkets are still in their infant stage. Perhaps they will never take off; as Malta is a tiny outpost with low population and blessed with family orientated culture we once used to have in this country but now sadly neglected, eradicated with clinical efficiency?
When we mentioned the reputation of Rumanians in England, as work-shy, dishonest people living on benefits, involved in petty crimes, they were not surprised at all. Their explanation makes sense.
“Like any country, we have fair proportion of work-shy people in Romania and largest Gypsy community in EU. You may believe it or not, these people are work-shy, seasonal migrants with little respect for law and order. But is it unfashionable to call spade, a spade. After all we are ruled by out of touch, Ivory Tower politicians based in Brussels, out of sight, out of touch with reality on the ground.
In Malta we don’t get nor do we expect any benefits or hand-outs. So only people who come here are hard-working, law-abiding, highly educated church going, God fearing people from good family background. Religion still plays an important role in Romanian society, although decades of Communist rule tried to turn us into atheists but without much success. It only went underground for the time being.
Fortunately work is plentiful here in Malta, although it is low paid and hours are long, some 60 hours a week, as shops are open from 9am to 7pm, even longer hours in summer, height of tourist season. But as cost of living is low, weather mild and our needs are minimal; we can manage, even save and remit money home. It is also a safe heaven, as crime is unknown. We girls can enjoy a beach barbeque at midnight in summer without fear of being molested except occasionally by British youths who may have too much to drink. Unfortunately Britain has earned a reputation in Eastern Europe as scroungers’ paradise; benefits galore where streets are perceived to be paved with gold, even street baggers make £200 a day with ease!
No wonder Britain attracts work-shy people from throughout EU. The fault lies fairly and squarely with British plutocracy living in isolation, out of touch with reality who created this benefit monster out of ignorance, stupidity and holier than thou attitude. It is up to us, the Brits to ponder, put our house in order rather than blame others. The typical example, as highlighted in British media, that a millionaire actress rented her house to her parents, at £15000 annual rent, her parents claiming it in rent allowance! This may be perfectly illegal but could it be morally justified! Should we allow such extravaganza when bedroom tax drives many disable people from their homes!
We also met a couple of young British couples who came here for holidays and hallelujah, went home with Romanian brides, albeit after visiting Romania and meeting girls’ patriarch parents, gaining their approval and blessings!
At one time British people used to go to Thailand and especially to Philippines to find a nice, home loving, family orientated girl to marry. Now they go to Eastern Europe, even to holiday hotspots like Malta, Cyprus, Madeira, Canaries where they could find, meet Romanian, Bulgarian, Slovakian, Russian girls they could marry and spend their lives in perfect harmony! The trend is still in the infant stage but catching on fast to the detriment of British girls who are perceived, perhaps erroneously to be binge drinking and come from broken homes with low moral standard. A tiny number of British youngsters give this country a bad name throughout holiday hotspots.
- Bhupendra Gandhi