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Swiss ambassador: Restrictions imposed on Romanian workers caused by other Europeans’ flow

The ambassador of Switzerland to Bucharest, Livio Hurzeler, declared on Tuesday, that the reason for restrictions being imposed on Romanian workers was the free circulation regime Switzerland has with other European countries which brought an important flow of emigrants especially from Germany, Mediafax writes.

There is a transition period until 2016 with restrictions about the number of workers. We have free circulation without any restrictions on European countries with which we had accords prior to the one with Romania and that brings an important flow of emrigrants, mainly from Germany. Simply there is a shortage of jobs. This is the only reason, but as of 2016 there will no longer be restrictions, the ambassador said. Asked whether the date was not 2014 instead of 2016 he said he had to check the date.

He added that there was need of workforce in some sectors like medicine and computer technology.
“In some sectors we need additional labor force, especially in medicine where we need physicians. And maybe in the field of computer technology. In Switzerland we have many Romanian specialists in the field of classical music. In the field of mathematics and physics research we have Romanian researchers in polytechnic universities. We do not have a market for unskilled workers. We do not have many agriculture markets, or in constructions like in Italy and Spain. Here too, older EU countries with previous relations about the free circulations of persons with Switzerland have been there before,” the ambassador said.

Asked whether increasing levels for professions like medicine and IT were not taken into account, the ambassador explained the levels would be maintained. “There will be not increases for the next two years,” he added.Access to the labour market in Switzerland will remain restricted until the end of 2014 for Bulgarians and Romanians, as the Swiss Federal Council confirmed on Wednesday the extension of the transition period for citizens of those states, the online edition of Le Matin writes.

Romanian and Bulgarian free lancers will benefit from free circulation as of June 1, 2011. The question of “fake professionals” has been affecting Swiss policy for some time.The accord on the free circulation of persons, concluded in 1999, foresees the possibility of temporary maintaining national restrictions in the labour market for no more than 7 years. The first extension used by Switzerland should not be explained.In case of serious irregularities of threat of irregularities in the labour market, Switzerland could expand the transition period by another 2 years, until May 2016.

The Bulgarian and Romanian labour force demand is mainly in the sector of services (76%) and in agriculture (17%).At the end of December, 8690 Bulgarian and Romanian citizens were living in Switzerland and represented 0.8% of European citizens. Their number grew by 17.5% - 1292 persons – compared to 2009.