Immigration: Work in Germany – a nightmare for Bulgarians

25 April 2012 – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt)

With the promise of jobs and income, more and more Bulgarians are being lured to Germany. There, however, they run into race-to-the-bottom wages and illegal accommodation. Frankfurt has become the centre of the so-called “Bulgarian industry”.

Perhaps it was the car. It had been there for weeks, a grey model from twenty years back with rust spots on the hood, looking somewhat lost among the neatly parked limousines, and the only one with a Bulgarian license plate in the whole neighbourhood. And there were the signboards on the mailbox with ever changing names, which eventually roused suspicion among the residents of the street.

The two-family house stands in the leafy middle-class suburb of Sachsenhausen in the south of Frankfurt. The front door of the house stands open. Stale heated air smelling of mildew wafts through the door of the flat and into the stairwell. Inside the musty flat, the Petrova family (their name has been changed) sits on mattresses in front of a small table in a room where the first thing that leaps to the eye is a huge mould stain in the corner.

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Translated from the German by Anton Baer

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