The British Government decided on Tuesday to maintain the restrictions currently in force for non-qualified Romanian and Bulgarian workers until the end of 2008, Reuters reports. Migration minister Liam Byrne argued that the decision was needed for a balance in Britain's immigration policy.

In response, Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu said he pleaded for the elimination of employment restrictions applied to Romanian citizens from EU member states as such policies only encourage black market labor.

British ambassador to Bucharest Robin Barnett informed Foreign Minister Adrian Cioroianu that the British government might officially announce the decision to postpone opening up the British marke for Romanian workers, a Romanian Foreign Ministry press release showed on Tuesday.

The decision will be received with dissatisfaction as the majority of European states loosened up the restrictions against Romanian and Bulgarian citizens, the press release showed.

The number of Romanians in Britain did not register a significant increase in 2007, a reality confirmed by official statistics while their contribution to the economic development is appreciated by the British government.

Romanian Foreign Minister Cioroianu expressed his regret for such a decision which would have an indirect effect upon encouraging illegal working.