Friday, August 12, 2011

EU OKs restriction of Romanian workers

Romanian workers in Spain (file photo)

Source: Press TV

The European Union allows Spain to temporarily restrict Romanian workers from seeking employment in the crisis-hit country as it struggles against unemployment.

The measure comes as the Spanish government seems to be no longer able to handle thousands of Romanians who flee yearly to Spain in search of jobs, as Spain itself remains grappled with dramatic unemployment.

EU has allowed Madrid to tighten restrictions on Romanian workers trying to find employment in Spain to help protect the Spanish job market, AFP reported on Thursday.

The European Commission said it agreed that Spain “can temporarily restrict the free movement of Romanian workers."

Last month, Madrid decided to require work permits in the future from Romanians wishing to settle in Spain, which the EU approved "due to serious disturbances on Spain's labor market."

"The continuous increase of Romanian residents in Spain and their high level of unemployment have had an impact on the capacity of Spain to absorb new inflows of workers," the commission said in a statement.

The European Commission had required Spain to provide data to justify such a decision, since only under certain conditions could the free movement of citizens from a new EU member state be restricted.

Spain announced in July that Romanian workers would in the future need a work permit before settling in the country.

Government spokesman Jose Blanco said that these temporary measures will not affect Romanians already part of the labor force in Spain, or the free circulation of citizens within the European Union.

The unemployment rate in Spain, which rose from 7.95 percent to 21.29 percent in the first quarter of 2011, is currently the highest rate of unemployment in the whole European Union.

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