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Dutch labour market opens to Slovaks

THE SLOVAK government welcomed the Netherlands' decision to open its labour market to citizens of Slovakia and the nine other countries that joined the EU on May 1, 2004.

A statement from the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry, issued on April 30, said that the Slovak Republic appreciates the Netherlands' response to the justified calls of the new EU members, the SITA news wire wrote.

The Slovak government considers the free movement of labour to be one of the four basic freedoms guaranteed by the EU, and an essential condition for the effective functioning of the internal market and increased competition in the EU. It believes that opening the labour market will have a positive impact on the economy of the EU member states.

In 2004 only Great Britain, Ireland and Sweden opened their labour markets to citizens of the 10 newest EU countries. Last year, Greece, Finland, Spain, Portugal and Italy did the same.

Six of the EU's 27 states - Germany, Austria, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Denmark - still have workforce movement restrictions.

These older EU member countries will have to open their labour markets to the new members by 2011.

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