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Spain to shut its door to Romanian workers

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 12.08.2011 06:55
In an unprecedented move, the European Commission has agreed for Spain to introduce a temporary ban on Romanians wanting to work there.

Spanish border to close to Romanians

According to the EC, the Spanish economy has to be protected at a time when the government in Madrid is struggling to contain public debt and more than 20 percent unemployment in the country.

Spanish coasts have also seen the number of migrants from North Africa wanting to enter the country rise by 77 percent since the beginning of the Arab Spring.

The ban on any more Romanian workers entering Spain will take effect till 13 December 2012. It does not, however, apply to citizens from Romania who have already been employed there.

The decision will have to be approved by all 27 member states in the coming weeks.

“We have taken this decision for the first time in the history of the EU, Spain approached us on 28 July [..]. Bearing in mind the turbulence on the labour market the Commission agreed to the ban,” European Commission spokeswoman Chantal Hughes said Thursday during a daily press briefing.

Romanians currently constitute Spain's largest minority with 800,000 living their, though one-in-three are unemployed.

Spanish unemployment is at 21 percent with the average throughout the 27-nation bloc at 9.4 percent.

Poland, which currently holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, has not protested the decision to shut the door to Romanian workers.

“We don’t know of any country that will protest against this decision,” said spokesman for the Polish Presidency, Konrad Niklewicz, adding that the development of the economy within the EU is a priority for Poland at a time for financial crisis.

Romania joined the EU alongside Bulgaria in 2007. (pg/di)

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