Reuters International

FILE PHOTO - A picture shows the website of an online campaign launched by Romanian publisher Gandul in Bucharest, Romania, July 1, 2016. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea/via REUTERS

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By Radu-Sorin Marinas

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romanians are offering a glimmer of hope for millions of disappointed Britons who voted to remain in the European Union last week - adopting British 'Remainians' and providing them with symbolic identity papers.

"Dear Brits who believe in a united Europe, leave the Brexiters, the quarrelling and the weather behind. Start a brand new life in a loving Romanian family," an online campaign launched by the daily newspaper Gandul reads.

The Brexit referendum result stunned global financial markets, threw British politics into turmoil and highlighted deep divisions among British voters - more than 17.4 million chose to leave the European Union, while 16.1 million voted remain.

"Fellow Romanians, the good people who voted remain and share European values deserve to be our relatives. Let's all volunteer so that each Remainian is adopted by a Romanian." http://romaniansadoptremainians.gandul.info/

The campaign launched at the start of the week has attracted 15,000 Romanian volunteers, with more than 5,000 symbolic Romanian identity cards issued so far for British citizens, organisers said.

Romanians are still among the staunchest supporters of the bloc, surveys show, a decade after joining the club together with Bulgarians in 2007 - and also remained its poorest members.

"The (Brexit) referendum showed that 16 million British people and citizens of the European Union have been left isolated," campaigner Clarice Dinu and Gandul editor in chief said.

"When you see someone alone you want to be with him, if you are a European and a human. This was the whole idea behind it ... This is a symbolic drive," she added.

Fifty-year-old British expatriate Rachel Sargent, an accountant running a small Bucharest business organising private events just got 'adopted':

"My ID card now says Rachel Sargent-escu," she said, referring to the traditional Romanian suffix added to her name on her new 'documents'. "I've been adopted by my friend Mihai Gongu."

"Romanians have got a space in their heart to adopt a poor Brit who's no longer going to be in the EU ... I hope that Brits will realise they're held with huge affection and respect." 

(Editing by Dominic Evans)

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