With the arrival of 2007, two new countries joined the European Union: Romania and Bulgaria, making us 27 countries and half a billion people. However – at least in socialist Spain and New Labour Britain – the new citizens of our great European Experiment are to be deemed ‘second class’ for two years. They can join, but they can’t work freely. So, lucky things, they can wear the twelve stars underwear, they can even present their ghastly songs in the Eurovision Song Contest (and perhaps even win just to show how much we love them), but they can’t work in the rest of Europe.
In point of fact, there are already over 450,000 Romanians and 60,000 Bulgarians living in Spain and registered on the padrón (ya know – who the hell wants to live in Bulgaria where the average wage is fourpence a week?).
Now, Angela Merkel, the President of Europe for the next six months, wants to have another go at 'selling' the European Charter, but she is going to have to ignore the Romanians and the Bulgarians, since, you know, they are not going to be able to work in other parts of Europe than their own and are, rather obviously, not going to vote yessah-marm for that unlovely constitution that the French and the Danes shat on a couple of years ago.
Angela should probably consult with the twenty or fifty million Europeans who live in other parts of Europe – true ‘Europeans’ when you think of it – people who would like to consider themselves as Europe’s genuine ‘Second Class Citizens’ since they will not (according to the European Constitution) be able to vote in either their own or their adopted country’s national and regional elections and who will not be represented – for obvious reasons – in Brussels. So, these sorry-ass Romanians and Bulgarians will just have to wait in line: they are Europe’s Third Class Citizens!