The celebrations are over, and now it is time to get back to work. At least that is the dream of some Bulgarians who left their country as soon as they could to search for a job elsewhere in the newly expanded EU. “I’m a bit ashamed that I’m a migrant worker,” said one woman leaving on a train to Greece. “But today offers a good opportunity for us, because there’s no job for me here.”
The economies of the two new EU member states are growing – 7% for Romania, 6% for Bulgaria – but wages are comparatively low. “I need to leave, although I know I’m a bit old. There’s no work, no job or me here,” said another woman on the same train. Any Bulgarian or Romanian with a passport can live in another EU state for up to three months. But quotas or work permits mean their chances of landing a lucrative job will be restricted.