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Spain Lifts Immigration Rules for Eastern EU Workers


Spain says it will lift immigration restrictions for workers from the European Union's new Eastern European member states.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Thursday that beginning May 1, the government will open the Spanish labor market to workers from Poland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Workers from the two other new EU members, Cyprus and Malta, already have free access to Spain.

The decision brings Spain into line with some EU countries such as Britain, Ireland and Sweden, which have no restrictions on workers from Eastern Europe.

Spain's move follows an immigration amnesty begun last year that granted nearly 800,000 new residence permits and moved thousands of undocumented workers out of the country's underground economy.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, and AP .