Bristol’s Romanian community ‘hurt and deeply humiliated ‘ by Channel 4’s “The Romanians Are Coming” –Consul Constantinescu says


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Romanian Consul appointed for Bristol has slammed a new television series for insulting his community, reports, quoted by Mediafax.

According to the British newspaper, Razvan Constantinescu claims Channel 4’s ‘The Romanians Are Coming’, which was aired Tuesday night, focused on a small group of Romanian Gypsy migrants sleeping rough, cheating the benefits system and breaking the law. He said the bias show amounted to a ‘public slur on the rest of the hard working community’. He said: “My Romanian community is hurt and feels deeply humiliated and angry. My British community is angry and appalled by this sensationalist piece of pathetic journalism.”

In its turn, the Romanian ambassador in London, Ioan Jinga sent a letter to the documentary’s producer, Katie Buchanan, expressing his astonishment and disappointment regarding the content of the promotion message. “Ambassador Jinga also expressed hope the situation would be revised and that the documentary would have a fair content and wouldn’t present a distorted image of the whole Romanian community in Great Britain,” reads a press release posted on the website of the Romanian embassy in London.

The Romanian envoy in the UK considers the documentary presents “only the negative aspects which are isolated and not representative for the Romanian community, which is not fair and highly discriminating”.

The first episode of the documentary “The Romanians are coming” aired on Tuesday night for British television station Channel 4 presents the stories of three Romanians that arrived in Britain from their perspective beyond the articles in the press about immigration.

The narrator character of the first episode of the documentary is a Romanian Roma ethnic, Alex Fechete Peter, who tells about the 20,000 Romanians who arrived in Britain last year, most of which contribute to the prosperity of the British economy, according to ‘The Independent’, electronic edition.

“I do not want to lie to you; there are some jobless Romanians or have nowhere to live. These Roma ethnics scare you,” he says. The documentary presents just such stories of three people. Alex (a different person from the narrator) is a Romanian who moved to Britain from Canada, where he spent a few years. He speaks perfect English with Canadian accent and currently works in sanitation while sleeping in a parking lot near Victoria station.

Things are even worse for Sandu, father of nine children who came from one of the poorest areas of Romania in search for work, accompanied by his eldest son. “They speak English so badly that do not understand if they are offered employment,” remarks the narrator.

According to, “like most of the other Romanians featured in the film, Alex was a likeable, reasonable man who believes everyone should work for a living. In fact, he was keen to get his biggest bugbear out of the way from the outset. “When I see beggars on your streets I am ashamed to be a gypsy and, though I hate Ukip and Mr Nigel, I agree that they should be sent home.” The argument made by the film was that the majority of Romanians come to Britain come with the sole intention of working to escape lives of grinding poverty back home. To prove the point we met a number of newly arrived Romanians living on the streets in London.”

The author comments: “All of this was genuinely thought provoking, as was the statistic that fewer than 2,500 Romanians are on benefits in the UK. Given that most of the Romanians in the film were either on benefits or waiting to qualify, this seemed hard The Romainians are Comingto believe.

The result was a film that, while full of interesting people, simply didn’t come across as serious. It painted a picture of Romanian immigration that was pretty much the opposite of what it claimed, and completely failed to present – even to a fundamentally sympathetic viewer like me – any evidence whatsoever for its argument that “immigration from other EU countries makes money” for Britain. I would love to think the two remaining episodes will be more convincing, but I seriously doubt it.”


Romania Journal note: the issue is, as always, that Roma ethnics are seen as Romanians and vice versa. Confusion is all around in this regard, in Britain, France, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Italy or Belgium. The truth is that Roma ethnics are Romanians, but not all Romanians are Roma ethnics. The latter are more visible for reasons we don’t want to comment here.

Read our files on this issue.

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  1. Judex says

    The sentence “The truth is that Roma ethnics are Romanians” is wrong. The correct sentence may be: “The truth is that a part of Roma ethnics are Rumanians, the rest may be Bulgarians, Hungarians, Czechs etc.” All countries have their Gypsies.

    1. Victor Lupu says

      Thank you for your interest in Romania Journal.
      You are right regarding the sentence. However, we wanted to underline the confusion currently made between Romanians and Roma ethnics (gypsies) all over Europe, due to the fact that the latter are more ‘visible’ in their new environments abroad. For us Romanians it’s a most unfortunate confusion.

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