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Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Thursday, 8 January 2009

More jobs for EU's newest members

Greece, Spain, Hungary and Portugal have lifted restrictions on access to their labour markets for Bulgarian and Romanian workers.

Ten EU nations had already opened their labour markets to workers from Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in January 2007.

Restrictions remain in 11 member states, including the UK.

The European Commission has set the end of 2013 as the deadline for lifting all the remaining restrictions.

The 11 countries applying national, rather than EU, labour law to Bulgarians and Romanians require them to obtain work permits.

Denmark plans to lift its restrictions on workers from new member states from 1 May, the commission says.

A commission report in November concluded that labour mobility across the EU following the bloc's 2004 and 2007 enlargements had had a positive economic impact, with workers from new member states filling jobs without upsetting labour markets.

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