Austria, Germany lifting restrictions on labour from Hungary to have little impact

Budapest, February 25 (MTI) – A wave of Hungarian workers is not expected to flow into Austria and Germany when the countries lift the last remaining restrictions on labourers from some new EU member states, Hungary’s state secretary for employment Sandor Czomba said at a conference in Vienna on Friday.

On May 1, Austria and Germany will lift all remaining restrictions on workers from states that joined the EU in 2004.

    Only 70,000-80,000 Hungarians currently work in the EU-15, Czomba said. Currently about 26,000 work in Austria, accounting for 6 percent of all foreign workers there, he added.

    European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Laszlo Andor told the conference that the number of workers in Austria rose from 43,000 to more than 80,000 between 2004 and 2010, supplying workforce from member states that joined the EU in the first wave of accession, but fell to 76,000 in 2009.

    Andor told the press in Vienna that the Austrian and Hungarian ministries of labour expect only one or two thousand new workers arriving in Austria from the EU-8 annually.

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