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FT: EU Split over Bulgarian, Romanian Jobseekers

Date: 29.12.2006

European Union countries are split over whether to impose labour market restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria when the Black Sea states join the EU on Monday, the FT wrote five days ahead of the watershed date.

"Leading "old" nations including the UK, Germany, Spain and France will limit the number of workers they accept, while most "new" members such as Poland and the Czech Republic will allow unfettered entry."

The authors point out that behind the restrictions is a debate about westward migration spurred by the EU's "big bang" enlargement in 2004 that took in eight lower-wage ex-communist countries.

"But the limits can do little to prevent people moving west. Any EU citizen holding a valid passport can live in another member state for up to three months without registering," they add.

"The newcomers can work anywhere on a self-employed basis".

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