Why would you leave a place like Wroclaw?

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The moment Poland joined the EU, its citizens rushed for the exits. Five thousand doctors alone have left since 2004. But what's so bad about the old country, or so great about destinations like Britain? Helen Pidd and Luke Harding report from beautiful, cultured - but unloved - Wroclaw.


What makes this scene in Wroclaw, in south-west Poland, unusual is the epic scale of the exodus. On quiet days six buses leave for "Anglia", the Polish word for England; when it's busy, it is 15. The buses are all full; you have to book. With Ryanair flying twice a day between Wroclaw and Stansted as well, a quick back-of-an-envelope calculation reveals that around 1,000 Wroclavians a day are heading to London, Liverpool, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent and other UK destinations. Nobody knows how many Poles go back home. But given that the Ryanair fare from Wroclaw to London often costs three times as much as flying in the other direction, it is clear that most of the traffic is heading one way.


Unfortunately, most Poles now in London consider the idea of going back to their homeland a non-starter. "Why on earth would I go back?" says 34-year-old Rafal Stanczak from Wroclaw, who has been driving vans in Britain for a year. "Here I get four times the wages I got in Wroclaw, and it is only twice as expensive to live."

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Source: the Guardian

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