Emigration: a blessing or a curse for Poland?
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One striking effect of EU enlargement in 2004 was the number of Polish people moving abroad in search of better pay. Hundreds of thousands flocked to the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Scandinavia. Since then, Poland has maintained steady economic growth, while Western Europe has not. Despite this, figures for 2012 show the record figure of 2.27 million Poles living abroad could soon be broken again.
France 24 travelled to Siemiatycze, in the impoverished east of Poland. It is theoretically a town of 18,000, but as many as half those people live abroad.