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Germany to block Eastern European workers to 2011: report

Germany's ruling broad coalition aims to extend a block on citizens of eight eastern European countries that joined the European Union in 2004 from being allowed to work freely in Germany, according to a report in Der Spiegel news magazine.

Both sides of the coalition, which includes the two main parties, the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, wanted an extension by two years to 2011, Der Spiegel said. Germany and other EU countries originally agreed on a seven-year bar to workers from countries like Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, which joined the EU in May 2004. Britain, Ireland and Sweden were the only countries to open their doors immediately on accession. Workers from Bulgaria and Romania, which joined at the beginning of this year, are also barred from working in most of the older member states. (