"Inflammatory rhetoric" about an influx of eastern European immigrants is putting them at risk of racist attacks, the Romanian ambassador in London warned today.
Dr Ion Jinga said he "highly doubts" there will be any significant increase in the number of Romanians coming to Britain when EU restrictions expire at the end of this year.
In fact, lifting the restrictions will prevent exploitation of Romanian workers and ensure more efficient tax collection, he added.
Temporary curbs were imposed on Romanians and Bulgarians from entering Britain ahead of the states joining the EU in 2007 and under EU laws restrictions cannot be extended beyond 2013.
This has prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to seek limits on the number of immigrants from EU countries claiming that they would abuse Britain's benefit system.
A number of alarmist stories have also appeared all over the media, which have cited estimations from right-wing organisation Migration Watch UK that 50,000 Romanians and Bulgarians will come into Britain every year, and be eight times better off.
But Dr Jinga dismissed the projected figures as a massive over-reaction and said the scare stories had left Romanians feeling like second-class EU citizens.
"Emotional approaches to this issue are counterproductive. They do not benefit the British public and they do not benefit the Romanian community in the UK either," he said.
"In extreme cases, inflammatory rhetoric could even lead to acts of racially aggravated assaults against them, as we have witnessed recently a case in Brighton."
He added that there is little reason to believe "alarmist figures" will be reliable following blunders over estimates of immigration from Poland.
He indicated that most Romanians who wanted to work in other member states have already done so because there is no visa requirement and the possibility to work self-employed would not have been covered by the temporary restrictions.
The government has refused to provide an estimate on the number of Romanians or Bulgarians it expects to arrive in Britain.
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