EC Accepts Spain’s Request To Restrict Labor Market Access To Romanian Workers Until End-2012

The European Commission on Thursday approved Spain's request to restrict its labor market to Romanian workers until December 31, 2012 due to serious disturbances on its labor market, the EC said in a press release.

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EC Accepts Spain’s Request To Restrict Labor Market Access To Romanian Workers Until End-2012

"Following a request from the Spanish authorities on 28th July 2011, the European Commission has approved Spain's request to restrict its labor market to Romanian workers until 31 December 2012 due to serious disturbances on its labor market. Spain has been hit very hard by the crisis," the Commission said in the release.

The unprecedented fall in GDP ( 3.9% between 2008 and 2010) has resulted in the highest unemployment rate in the EU, over 20% since May 2010 and 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 explained.

European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor said in the release that the decision has been taken because of the very specific employment situation in Spain.

"As a rule, I am convinced that restricting the free movement of European workers is not the answer to high unemployment. We should rather focus on creating new job opportunities," Andor was quoted as saying.

In Thursday's decision, the European Commission authorizes Spain to temporarily impose restrictions on Romanians to access its labor market until December 31, 2012. These restrictions will apply to activities in all sectors and regions but will not affect Romanian nationals who are already active on the Spanish labor market.

The European Commission will inform the Council of its decision and any member state may request the Council to amend or annul the Commission's decision on the suspension of EU law within two working weeks, the Commission also said.

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