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Germany Restricts Labour Access of Bulgarians, Romanians

Date: 20.12.2006

Germany will place restrictions on the number of Romanians and Bulgarians allowed to work in the country after joining the EU on January 1.

The restrictions will remain in place until 2009, the German labour ministry said.

In this much expected move Germany applies the same restrictions to workers from Bulgaria and Romania as it has to eight other eastern European states, which joined the bloc in 2004.

"Germany has made great progress in the labour market, but a reduction in unemployment remains the main aim for the government and the entry of employees from Romania and Bulgaria must therefore be restricted," the ministry said in a statement.

The German federation for the building industry welcomed the decision. Its president, Frank Dupre, said: "Despite increased business and a good year in 2006 the German construction market cannot endure an uncontrolled entry of foreign workers."

The entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the EU on January 1 raises the number of member nations to 27.

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