Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Eduard Kukan requested that ambassadors of European Union member countries to Slovakia inform their governments that their fears about opening up their labour markets are unfounded, the TASR news wire reported.
Kukan said that Slovakia would consider the introduction of any further transitional labour periods for the ten new member countries, including Slovakia, to be unfair.
"The Slovak government wants to solve the problems by creating jobs at home," Kukan said, adding that foreign investment helps in this process.
According to Kukan, the issue of liberalising the labour market has recently been reopened in those EU-member countries that are due to hold a general election in the near future and the issue has become one of some resonance in the campaigns.
"Some ambassadors confirmed that a discussion of this issue was going on and that it's influenced by the domestic policy situation of their particular countries," Kukan added.
The EU Accession Treaty with the ten acceding countries, due to join the EU on May 1, enables current EU members to apply a two-year transition period during which citizens of the new member countries will not have free access to employment. This transition period could be extended to up to seven years in total.
So far only Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Finland have officially reported on the protective measures they plan to introduce.
Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands have expressed a willingness to liberalise their labour markets.
Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
11. Feb 2004 at 10:16