Ten major EU member states want to keep their labor markets closed for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania till 2014, the maximum period they are allowed, according to Austrian Labor Minister Rudolph Hundstorfer.
This means that the ten Western European countries in question will wait until the end of the so called transition period of two-plus-three-plus-two - or up to seven - years after Bulgaria and Romania's EU accession in 2007 to open their labor market for Bulgarians and Romanians.
"The restrictions for free movement of laborers from Bulgaria and Romania are supposed to expire on January 1, 2012, but the other EU countries can ask for a two-year extension if they believe that their labor market is threatened. We are going to wait till the end of 2013. Germany and we are not the only ones. Ten EU countries want to do that," Austrian Labor Minister Hundstorfer said Saturday on Austrian Radio Ö1 as cited by BGNES.
While Hundstorfer did not name the EU member states in question which he expects will keep Bulgarians and Romanians away from their labor markets till 2014, it is obvious that he meant the ten countries still having restrictions: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, and the UK.
According to the Austrian Minister's forecast, these countries will keep the labor restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians as long as they are legally allowed to by EU rules.
Bulgarians and Romanians are already allowed to work without special work permits in the other 17 EU member states: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
As of Sunday, May 1, 2011, Germany and Austria are the last two EU states that opening their markets to laborers from the 10 Eastern and Southern European states that were admitted to the EU in 2004. (Source: Sofia News Agency)