More than 100,000 people from the newest EU members have emigrated to the older member states since the bloc was enlarged to 25 member states in 2004, with most going to Britain, a German economic institute said on Wednesday. The DIW institute said that since May 1, 2004, when eight
central and eastern European countries as well as Cyprus and Malta joined the European Union, between 100,000 and 150,000 people had moved to the older member states. The DIW calculates that more than 50,000 people had entered Britain. That figure is far lower than statistics published last week in an official British study which found that more than 175,000 people had entered Britain since the enlargement. Analyst Herbert Bruecker explained that the British figures and the DIW statistics were calculated differently. The 50,000 figure was an estimation of genuine new arrivals to Britain, in other words, immigrants who had never visited or worked in Britain before. The DIW said it was harder to enter Austria, Germany and Italy than Britain because of immigration restrictions. In Germany for example, there is a seven-year delay before citizens of the new EU members can obtain working permits. DIW analyst Herbert Bruecker recommended that Germany relaxes its restriction because qualified workers were the first to emigrate and they headed for the countries with the most liberal immigration policy.