George's story

From: Vaslui, Romania | Date moved to the UK: December 2011 | Occupation: Painter | Qualifications: BSc in Economics

Our country is not a good place to live right now, but that isn’t our fault. In Romania, there is nothing for young people. Here, you can go to college and if you are smart, you can do something with your life, you can find a good job. But in Romania, you don’t have that chance.

When I came here for the first time it was a shock because in my mind I was thinking, “you can live your life how you want here!”

I’ve done a lot of odd jobs since I moved here but now I work as a painter. It’s OK, but some of the companies don’t pay you on time, they say ‘we will pay your wages next week,’ and then they say the same the next week. Or they pay you less than they promised. But it’s not so bad.

"There are bad Romanians, yes, but there are a lot of good Romanians, too. If you go into a forest, you won’t just find bad trees, you will find good trees too."

” I lived under Communism for the first 14 years of my life. It was a very difficult time, but I didn’t feel like it was all bad. I was a child playing a lot and my father was trying to do the best for us.

The government allowed us TV for one hour a week and in that hour it was just the president and songs for the president, they just wanted to brainwash you. And when you bought bread, you paid with a card, not money and it was just half a loaf. And you couldn’t talk freely on the street, you couldn’t say, ‘I don’t like Communism’ because you’d be arrested. You also couldn’t walk on the street after 8pm and there were beatings.

So there were a lot of bad things going on, but the truth is, there are bad things and good things in everything. But under Communism, everyone had a job.

After Communism, there was nothing, the government just didn’t care about people, they just cared about money. I don’t like Communism, I don’t agree with their politics, but for many people, even the Communist government were better than the current Romanian government.

I actually had my own construction business in 2008, but the government didn’t protect us and we lost everything.

In England, they protect their English people, they are fair. The Romanian government doesn’t do that. They say they do but it’s not true.

Here, if you have a broken leg, they take you to the hospital even if you don’t have money. But in Romania, you have to have money in pocket to pay the doctor. That’s why a lot of doctors and nurses are coming to the UK to work. They are good doctors and they want to help and not care about money.

And when you read about what the media says about Romanians, it makes me feel very sad. There are some bad Romanians, yes, but there are a lot of good Romanians, too. If you go into a forest, you won’t just find bad trees, you will find good trees, too.