Romania plans campaign to lure back citizens working abroad

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Romania's government said it plans to start international advertising, recruiting campaigns and bonuses to encourage citizens working abroad to return home.

Romania, which says it has about 2 million citizens working abroad and is undergoing a labor shortage, will also consider paying some benefits to workers who come back home, the prime minister's office said.

The government will "create a system to stimulate the return of Romanian workers to look at, mainly, wages, benefits, transport, relocation costs and training," a statement read adding it will analyze the possibility of using existing funds.

Italy and Spain are the main destinations for Romanian migrant workers who left since the fall of communism in 1989 in search of better wages. European Union countries feared a flood of migration from Romania and neighboring Bulgaria after they joined the EU on 01 January this year.

Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu said last month that rising wages and a growing economy would help entice some of them to return.

Romania's economy grew an estimated 8% last year and average monthly wages in December, 2006 increased almost 30% from a year earlier to 1,100 lei ($428).

Romania's national association of construction companies has said the nation of 22 million people needs to attract another 300,000 construction workers, doubling the current number, to meet demand as building booms.

Bechtel Group Inc., a San Francisco-based construction company, said it's missing deadlines to build Romania's longest highway because it can't find enough workers.


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