Scottish Executive Jack McConell has been negotiating with British immigration authorities to have Scotland be the first UK region to let in workers from Romania and Bulgaria after the two countries join the EU on January 1, 2007, Scotland on Sunday has reported.

McConell presses for Scotland to keep the current regime of unrestricted access to its labour market applied to immigrants from new member states, in case Britain introduces a transition period in this regard, to accommodate easier with the accession of Romania and Bulgaria in the EU.

According to the Scottish official, when ten new members joined the Union in 2004, the Scottish economy reported a faster pace of growth than expected.

Some 32,000 immigrants have come in since, most of them Polish. And they boosted the construction works and services sectors considerably and inversed the demographic trend of ageing population.

Even the banking services market adapted to the new social framework as Lloyds TSP offered new banking services for immigrants while Barclays launched a mortgage credit for the Polish and organized seminars to let them inform on how to start their own business in Scotland.

And the flow of Eastern Europe immigrants revived Scottish real estate market, after the dark period of 2000-2002 when holding a property was more expensive than profitable.