11 December 2007, Tuesday
The ruling coalition in the Netherlands announced they want to postpone the opening of the Dutch borders to Bulgarian and Romanian workers.
Christian Democrats CDA and Labour PvdA party said they do not consider lifting the work permit requirements for workers from the newly acceded members of the European Union within the next year or two, Expatica news agency reported.
The previous government had set a work permit requirement in effect until 2009 for residents of Romania and Bulgaria but the present cabinet said the restrictions must stay the way they are until the problems with the influx of Polish workers are first sorted out.
The decision comes twelve months after Dutch Ambassador in Bulgaria Willem van Ee said that the government would take a year to evaluate the national and European labour situation and decide if to open the labour market.
The Dutch social minister Piet Hein Donner recently announced that he is to combat problems caused by concentration of Eastern Europeans in certain areas, while PvdA and CDA said more inspections into illegal labour and exploitation must be carried out.
The bad news for Bulgarians and Romanians willing to work in Western Europe comes a month after the British government also said it would extend labour market restrictions for new EU members until at least the end of 2008, due to the great number of foreign workers coming into the country.