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Ireland Closing Market Doors for Bulgarians, Romanians Too

Date: 26.10.2006

Just hours after Bulgarians and Romanians had to face the news that they wouldn't be allowed to work in the UK once the country joins the EU, Ireland also made public its decision to shut out the two countries' migrants.

Ireland' Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister Micheal Martin explained that Bulgarians and Romanians' access to the labour market in the country would be curbed for at least two years. Ireland will then review the restrictions right before the end of 2008.

The Irish government had to be cautious and direct its efforts towards answering the needs of the migrants who are already in the country, Martin said. He added that those Bulgarians and Romanians who were looking for a job in his country would just have to follow the same procedures they had followed until now and apply for a permit.

Martin vowed that those people would have an advantage before job seekers from the European Economic Area like Norway, Switzerland and Iceland.

Over the past two years, Ireland has seen the arrival of over 200,000 migrants from the eastern European countries that joined the EU in the last enlargement wave, a number much bigger than what the government predicted.

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