A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

"It's a lateral transfer" -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
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Friday, August 26, 2005

Reinforce the border guard, call in the helicopters

Radio Polonia:

Polish workers flock to UK

The number of workers from east European member states registered in the UK has risen significantly in comparison to government estimates – reports the bloc’s news service - EU observer. According to the figures released by the Home Office more people come to work to UK per month than had been predicted for the whole year. Currently, there are around 14,000 newcomers each month. According to June statistics, around 232,000 applicants from the eight countries - Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the three Baltic states - have registered under a special scheme, set up shortly before the May 2004 enlargement because of fears about possible abuse of the country's social benefit system. Over half of the registered workers (57%) are Polish, they are overwhelmingly young - between 18 and 34 - and rarely claim social benefits. The new workers are mostly employed in factories (41,000) and restaurant kitchens (12,000). Britain, Ireland and Sweden are the only three countries to have opened up their labour markets to the new EU citizens, while the 12 other 'old' member states have opted for a transitional period of restrictions for up to seven years.


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