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Tuesday, 12 June, 2001, 18:28 GMT 19:28 UK
Hungary breakthrough in EU talks
The European Commission says Hungary has accepted a transition period of up to seven years for the free movement of workers after EU enlargement.

It is the first applicant country to close negotiations on the controversial issue.

The enlargement commissioner, Guenter Verheugen, called the outcome a real breakthrough in the membership talks.

It came after Hungary accepted assurances that the restrictions would be applied in a flexible way.

Most European Union applicants have been strongly opposed to any delay in allowing their citizens the freedom to work anywhere in the EU.

It was imposed at the demands of Germany and Austria, who most fear a big influx of cheap labour from the east when new members join.

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