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EUobserver / 'Bulgarian trucker' replaces 'Polish plumber' in EU elections

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The French politician who created the stereotype of the "Polish plumber" has coined a new "Bulgarian truck driver" cliché for his EU election campaign. But voters are finding the event a turn-off despite scandals involving topless girls, hunger strikes and the Taliban.

Far-right French politician Pilippe de Villiers, who launched the catchy plumber idea during his fight against the EU constitution in a referendum in 2005, is now promoting the notion that cheap Bulgarian truckers are coming to steal French jobs.

The Bulgarian trucker - coming to a stereotype near you

A Bulgarian driver costs €700 a month instead of €3,700, survives on just four hours of sleep a night and eats just twice a week, the myth-making politician is saying. Poland joined the EU in 2004 and Bulgaria in 2007, with their workers still legally barred from some EU states.

As many as 63 percent of French people do not plan to vote on Sunday (7 June). But the ruling centre-right UMP is in any case set to scoop 27 percent of ballots cast, ahead of the Socialists on 21 points and with Mr de Villiers' Mouvement Pour La France way behind on less than six percent.

by Fran on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 01:38:06 PM EST
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Here it is Romanians used as bogeyman... Who's next, Ukranians?
by Nomad on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:19:45 AM EST
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LOL. However, I note on the sidelines that the atrocious labour conditions in trucking are a scandal for a decade (or two) now, at least in the Western part of the EU-15: Italian, German, Austrian firms with employees from the then accession, now new member countries resp. firms from there with clients in the West are all too often found to employ people for too long hours, paying them to get the job done on the shortest time possible ( = speeding resp. tinkering with the black box, sleep deprivation). Controls are lax or at least totally insufficient.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:36:53 AM EST
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No, no. The Ukrainians are our plucky allies who are bravely standing up to the big, bullying Russian bear, to defend Europe's Britain's and Denmark's right to cheap gas without long-term contracts. Didn't you get that memo?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 06:11:43 AM EST
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