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2006年VOA标准英语-European Immigration Sparks Debate in Britain

时间:2007-04-17 07:30来源:互联网 提供网友:枭神羊   字体: [ ]

By Gary Thomas
31 August 2006

When the European Union expanded in 2004, it opened up a wave of migration1 from Eastern Europe to more affluent2 countries of Western Europe, particularly Britain.  New figures show that legal immigration from Eastern Europe to Britain has far exceeded government expectations.  A fierce debate is under way in Britain on the issue of immigration.


Polish workmen with their work clothes and tools, stand around on a street corner in Hammersmith, west London
Polish workmen with their work clothes and tools, stand around on a street corner in Hammersmith, west London
It is a busy night at Albannach, an upscale bar and restaurant just off London's bustling3 Trafalgar Square, and Ewelina Szymanska is constantly moving, as she takes orders for complex cocktails4 from a thirsty clientele.

Szymanska is one of the more than 400,000 mostly young workers who have moved from Eastern Europe to Britain since the European Union expansion two years ago.  She is proudly Polish, but is grateful that she can work in Britain.

"I feel like I'm just European," she said.  "I was growing up like this.  I think this is good, but I feel like a guest.  It's not my country. It's not my home.  My home will always be in Poland, because I was born there."

When the eight states joined the E.U. ranks in 2004, Britain was one of only three EU countries to adopt a fully5 open door policy to workers from the new member states.  But recently released figures show that immigration far exceeded government estimates of perhaps 5,000 to 13,000 per year.  Roughly 62 percent of the new arrivals are, like Ewelina Szymanska, from Poland.

Nick Pearce, director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, says that has renewed a heated debate about immigration in Britain, especially as two more states, Bulgaria and Romania, are poised6 to join the EU next year.

"What's given it added impetus7 is that, since the new European countries, like Poland, Slovakia, and the others, joined the European Union, Britain gave those people access to its jobs market," he explained.  "And many more have come to Britain than people thought would be the case.  So, there's been a heated debate about whether it's been a good thing."

Proponents8 of unlimited9 immigration, which include the heads of some of Britain's biggest firms, like the supermarket chain Sainsbury's, argue that the new arrivals do jobs that Britons will not do, that they work hard, and are not a drain on the health care or education systems.

It's a view shared by Jim Wrigley, manager of the Albannach.  Not only are many of his service employees from Eastern Europe, he says, but the man he entrusts10 with the care of thousands of dollars worth of expensive food and liquor is one of the new Polish immigrants, who worked his way up through the ranks.

"[It's a] sweeping11 generalization12, but these are people who are prepared to work hard," he said.  "The money is good, for them, when they first come over.  And they recognize the fact that if they work hard, they can increase their money.  Their language skills, which, if someone's just come over, they have to start learning English pretty quickly, but they do, they pick it up pretty quickly.  And there's a loyalty13 that isn't necessarily evident in, I assume, a lot of the Western world, but definitely in British workers."

However, in arguments that echo those over illegal immigration in the United States, opponents say the new immigrants take jobs away from Britons and depress wages because they will work for less.  Sir Andrew Green, a former ambassador who heads a group called Migration Watch, tells VOA there should be a moratorium14 on new immigration.

"Our view is that there has to be a pause, that the flow of immigration from the first eight has been so much greater than foreseen, has had such a substantial impact on the labor15 market in particular sectors16, that we really can't take the risk of once again being the main destination of the next wave of immigration," he said.

He also vehemently17 denies that being against new immigration is racist18, as immigration proponents charge.

Ewelina Szymanska, who will be moving on to school in Britain to study interior design, says she understands why some English people are upset about the influx19 of newcomers.

"But, on the other hand, when I look at this situation from an English point of view, I see that, 'oh my God, so many strangers are coming over, and our country is becoming, like, it's not England anymore.  It's so many Polish people, so many people from Australia, so many people from Brazil, and from other European countries.' And it's not the same England anymore," she noted20.  "But there is a question.  Is it worse? Or is it better?"

Nick Pearce of the Institute for Public Policy Research says there is no question that Britain has benefited from the immigration.  But he adds that it remains21 a very sensitive issue for politicians in the face of calls to curb22 immigration from the two new EU member states, when they join next year.

"I think, all the signs coming out of the government are that it's very, very nervous about extending the same rights to Romanians and Bulgarians to work in Britain that have previously23 been extended to Poles and others," he added.  "I think it looks as if that's on a knife's edge, that decision.  If they do allow them to come and work here, I suspect, it would be combined with tightening24 up any other immigration from outside the European Union."

One published report says officials are considering requiring a work permit for Bulgarians and Romanians, under which they would have to prove that they can fill specific job shortages.


1 migration mDpxj     
  • Swallows begin their migration south in autumn.燕子在秋季开始向南方迁移。
  • He described the vernal migration of birds in detail.他详细地描述了鸟的春季移居。
2 affluent 9xVze     
  • He hails from an affluent background.他出身于一个富有的家庭。
  • His parents were very affluent.他的父母很富裕。
3 bustling LxgzEl     
  • The market was bustling with life. 市场上生机勃勃。
  • This district is getting more and more prosperous and bustling. 这一带越来越繁华了。
4 cocktails a8cac8f94e713cc85d516a6e94112418     
n.鸡尾酒( cocktail的名词复数 );餐前开胃菜;混合物
  • Come about 4 o'clock. We'll have cocktails and grill steaks. 请四点钟左右来,我们喝鸡尾酒,吃烤牛排。 来自辞典例句
  • Cocktails were a nasty American habit. 喝鸡尾酒是讨厌的美国习惯。 来自辞典例句
5 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
6 poised SlhzBU     
  • The hawk poised in mid-air ready to swoop. 老鹰在半空中盘旋,准备俯冲。
  • Tina was tense, her hand poised over the telephone. 蒂娜心情紧张,手悬在电话机上。
7 impetus L4uyj     
  • This is the primary impetus behind the economic recovery.这是促使经济复苏的主要动力。
  • Her speech gave an impetus to my ideas.她的讲话激发了我的思绪。
8 proponents 984ded1baa85fedd6467626f41d14aff     
n.(某事业、理论等的)支持者,拥护者( proponent的名词复数 )
  • Reviewing courts were among the most active proponents of hybrid rulemaking procedures. 复审法院是最积极的混合型规则制定程序的建议者。 来自英汉非文学 - 行政法
  • Proponents of such opinions were arrested as 'traitors. ' 提倡这种主张的人马上作为“卖国贼”逮捕起来。 来自辞典例句
9 unlimited MKbzB     
  • They flew over the unlimited reaches of the Arctic.他们飞过了茫茫无边的北极上空。
  • There is no safety in unlimited technological hubris.在技术方面自以为是会很危险。
10 entrusts a3ff4fbea64266c1bf9202c4dff54dce     
v.委托,托付( entrust的第三人称单数 )
  • It is the bank to which the seller entrusts the documents. 一方是托收银行,是受卖方的委托接收单据的银行。 来自互联网
  • Mr. Thomas entrusts the Bank of Paris to pay money to us. 托马斯先生委托巴黎银行向我们付款。 来自互联网
11 sweeping ihCzZ4     
  • The citizens voted for sweeping reforms.公民投票支持全面的改革。
  • Can you hear the wind sweeping through the branches?你能听到风掠过树枝的声音吗?
12 generalization 6g4xv     
  • This sweeping generalization is the law of conservation of energy.这一透彻的概括就是能量守恒定律。
  • The evaluation of conduct involves some amount of generalization.对操行的评价会含有一些泛泛之论。
13 loyalty gA9xu     
  • She told him the truth from a sense of loyalty.她告诉他真相是出于忠诚。
  • His loyalty to his friends was never in doubt.他对朋友的一片忠心从来没受到怀疑。
14 moratorium K6gz5     
  • The government has called for a moratorium on weapons testing.政府已要求暂停武器试验。
  • We recommended a moratorium on two particular kinds of experiments.我们建议暂禁两种特殊的实验。
15 labor P9Tzs     
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
16 sectors 218ffb34fa5fb6bc1691e90cd45ad627     
n.部门( sector的名词复数 );领域;防御地区;扇形
  • Berlin was divided into four sectors after the war. 战后柏林分成了4 个区。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Industry and agriculture are the two important sectors of the national economy. 工业和农业是国民经济的两个重要部门。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
17 vehemently vehemently     
adv. 热烈地
  • He argued with his wife so vehemently that he talked himself hoarse. 他和妻子争论得很激烈,以致讲话的声音都嘶哑了。
  • Both women vehemently deny the charges against them. 两名妇女都激烈地否认了对她们的指控。
18 racist GSRxZ     
  • a series of racist attacks 一连串的种族袭击行为
  • His speech presented racist ideas under the guise of nationalism. 他的讲话以民族主义为幌子宣扬种族主义思想。
19 influx c7lxL     
  • The country simply cannot absorb this influx of refugees.这个国家实在不能接纳这么多涌入的难民。
  • Textile workers favoured protection because they feared an influx of cheap cloth.纺织工人拥护贸易保护措施,因为他们担心涌入廉价纺织品。
20 noted 5n4zXc     
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
21 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
22 curb LmRyy     
  • I could not curb my anger.我按捺不住我的愤怒。
  • You must curb your daughter when you are in church.你在教堂时必须管住你的女儿。
23 previously bkzzzC     
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。
24 tightening 19aa014b47fbdfbc013e5abf18b64642     
  • Make sure the washer is firmly seated before tightening the pipe. 旋紧水管之前,检查一下洗衣机是否已牢牢地固定在底座上了。
  • It needs tightening up a little. 它还需要再收紧些。
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