Romanian PM asks Britain to not discriminate against Romanians when work restrictions lifted

Romania's prime minister has called on Britain not to treat Romanians as "second-rate citizens" when work restrictions for Romanian and Bulgarian workers are lifted on Jan. 1.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced measures to toughen welfare rules for migrants from the European Union amid rising concern in Britain that migrants from Romania and Bulgaria would exploit the British welfare system.

Cameron says 1 million people from Central and East Europe are living in Britain with migration at a level not seen since wartime.

Premier Victor Ponta said people should be punished for abusing Britain's welfare system, but restrictions should not be used to "generate or justify abuse or discrimination toward European citizens."

"We will not accept being treated as second-rate citizens," Ponta said in a statement late Friday.