As the UK economy worsens thousands of polish workers are going back to Poland. According to the Federation of Poles in Great Britain around 200,000 Poles have gone back in the last year.
When Poland joined the European Union (EU) in 2004, it is estimated that around 700,000 Poles migrated across to Britain. But now the pound has plummeted against the zloty leaving little reason for many of the Poles to stay in Britain. However, it is not just workers in building trades that are departing, amongst those going back are educated, middle-class Poles including teachers, bankers, vets and hotel managers.
After five years in the EU, Poland has better opportunities than in the UK. The Polish economy is performing well and has not had a huge impact from the credit crunch. The unemployment rate in Poland has fallen to six per cent and the mortgage market in Poland is relatively young which has meant that banks have not been reckless in handing out loans.
Prime minister, Donald Tusk recently warned that 2009 would be a tough year for Poland and the country would not be immune from the credit crunch.
Many Poles are not leaving Britain for better opportunities in Poland but to be back with family and friends. 40-year-old Mirek Szubzda, told the Times:
"I love London's buildings and pubs and I found most people were polite but I am with my family. Money cannot buy you everything."