Germany plans ban on 'new EU' workers until 2009

21st March 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 March 2006, BERLIN - Germany plans to keep its ban on workers from new European Union states entering its labour market through at least 2009, vice-chancellor and labour minister Franz Muentefering said Tuesday.

21 March 2006

BERLIN - Germany plans to keep its ban on workers from new European Union states entering its labour market through at least 2009, vice-chancellor and labour minister Franz Muentefering said Tuesday.

The German cabinet will vote on Wednesday to extend the ban on labour from new central European EU members such as Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states through April 30, 2009, Muentefering told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper.

"Making use of the transition period for a further three years makes sense due to labour market conditions," said Muentefering.

German unemployment is currently over 12 per cent.

By making the move, German will defy the European Commission which is calling for freedom of movement for labour throughout the 25-nation bloc.

Under terms of membership for the eight new central European EU states, the old members can block free labour movement through April 30, 2011. The rule was not applied to new members Cyprus and Malta.

Only three "old EU" member states opened their borders to labour from the new members when they joined in 2004: Britain, Ireland and Sweden.

A number of other EU states - in contrast to Germany - plan to allow workers from central Europe to enter their labour markets from this May 1. These include Finland, Spain and Portugal.

DPA

Subject: German news

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