Germany has decided on 22 March to keep its job market closed to
workers from the new members of the European Union until at least April

„Germany must guarantee that the access to the German job market
remains controlled in the interest of economic stability,” employment
minister Franz Muntefering was reported saying by Deutsche Welle.

The German unemployment rate in February hit 12.2 percent.

Jozef Olszynski, the economic envoy at the Polish embassy in Berlin
told the Financial Times that Germany would lose more than the east
European countries by keeping restrictions on Polish workers entering
the country.

„Germany is damaging its own economy, as it needs more labour-market
flexibility, and opportunities to expand business ties and exports to
Poland are being lost. We are very unhappy with today’s decision,” Mr
Olszynski said.

'Old’ EU member states were encouraged by the European Commission to lift all barriers to movement of labour.

Member states are obliged to inform the commission by the end of
April whether they will renew the temporary work barriers for the
employees from the new member states.

Free access
Until now Spain, Portugal and Finland officially confirmed that they will open their labour markets from 1 May.

Partially open
France has also decided to partially open its labour market, starting with sectors with labour shortages.

Quota increased
Italy announced that it would
keep its temporary ban for another three years but increase its annual
quota from 85,000 to 170,000.

No free access
Belgium and Austria also said that they will keep their temporary ban.


Still undecided
Denmark, Greece and Luxembourg have yet to signal their plans.

The trojka
Britain, Ireland and Sweden did not impose restrictions in the first place.

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