Germany top job destination for Polish workers

6th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 May 2005, WARSAW - Neighbouring Germany was the top job destination for Poles during the first year of Poland's membership of the European Union, with more than 350,000 finding legal employment there, the Polish Ministry of Labour reported on Thursday.

6 May 2005

WARSAW - Neighbouring Germany was the top job destination for Poles during the first year of Poland's membership of the European Union, with more than 350,000 finding legal employment there, the Polish Ministry of Labour reported on Thursday.

In keeping with the tradition of the Polish 'Gastarbeiter' ('guest worker') in Germany, more than 90 percent of the jobs were seasonal in the agricultural sector.

Defying predictions of a flood of inexpensive Polish labour into Western Europe after enlargement, only 500,000 Poles found legal work in other EU states since Poland's 1 May 2004 accession to the bloc.

Some 73,500 found work in Great Britain, 40,000 in Italy while others were working in Ireland and Spain in farming, tourism and food services.

A labour ministry official noted that many Poles already working illegally in the EU prior to Poland's accession were either able to make their jobs legal or take up other legal employment after Poland joined the bloc.

Poles, as well as other newcomers to the European Union, have unrestricted access to jobs in Britain, Ireland and Sweden. Access is, however, limited in other EU states, including Germany, by a flexible 7-year-long transition period. Under the so-called 2+3+2 year system, restrictions can be lifted after 2, 5 or 7 years from 2004's enlargement.

Last year Poland also issued 14,500 employment permits to persons hailing from other EU states.

DPA

Subject: German news

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