Italy may open its labour market for Romanians starting January 1, 2007 if Bucharest collaborates more actively in combating cross-border crime, Italian Interior minister Giuliano Amato said on Tuesday, quoted by AFP. He said he would try to sign an accord with Romania in the coming weeks to intensify collaboration in this regard.

“If the accord provides results, there will be no restrictions on the free movement of Romanian workers”, Amato said, insisting that the current level of collaboration was not enough.

He said there were over 200,000 Romanian citizens in Italy - many honest people, but also some with links to the organized crime, prostitution rings and drug trafficking.