Positive Poles

How emigrants boosted the economy in Britain and Ireland

Sarah Doyle for TIME

Izabella Chudzicka in Dublin.

When Michal Kalwasinski, a young manager at a Vodafone outlet outside Dublin, goes home to the southwestern Polish city of Wroclaw, he no longer bothers to look up his old friends. What would be the point? "They've all left for Britain," he says. With good reason. Polish migration expert Pawel Kaczmarczyk, of Warsaw's Center of Migration Research, says that for a typical Polish villager, "it has become no more difficult to get work in London than in Warsaw--it may even be easier."

When Poland was admitted to the European Union, politicians across Europe viewed the prospect of Poles moving into their...

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