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Europe

New Member State Workers Head to Sweden

Four months after the EU was enlarged with 10 new member states, Sweden has noted a sharp raise in the number of employees from the new countries applying for work permits.

Compared to the figures from last year, the number of applications for Swedish work permits from people in the 10 new EU member states went up by 74 percent in the four months from May to August, according to official statistics from the Swedish Migration Board. From May to August 2004 a total of 2,017 applications were registered, of which 1,113 were made by Polish workers. In the same period last year there was a total of 1,161 applications. The statistics only cover work permits of more than three months. The Netherlands has also seen a jump in foreign workers. In May, June and July the Dutch issued 11,000 work permits, compared to 5,000 in the same period last year, according to the Dutch Center for Pay and Employment. In Ireland, government figures released in August showed almost 23,000 people from the new member states had sought employment in the first three months after enlargement. (EUobserver.com)

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