SOCIAL AFFAIRS: FINLAND LIKELY TO LET EASTERN WORKERS IN.

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Finland is considering opening up its labour market to workers from new member states. According to recent reports on Finnish public radio station Yle Radio Suomi, from Polish press agency PAP and other media, Helsinki will probably choose not to apply for another transition period of three years banning citizens from eight countries in Central and Eastern Europe from working in Finland without special permission.

All of the 'old' EU15, bar the UK, Ireland and Sweden, have sealed off their labour markets for up to seven years, although these transitional arrangements are up for review after two years under the so-called '2+3+2' formula, with a view to phasing them out altogether by 2011. Member states are to decide by April 2006 whether they will apply a second stage of restrictions, and top up their transition period for another three years, until 2009. Germany and Austria have confirmed...

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