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In Germany, a Founding EU Principle Is Challenged

MIN READOct 13, 2016 | 00:18 GMT

Syrian refugees learn the construction trade in a German training program. Fears that the migrant influx would harm the country's budget helped inspire a measure to restrict benefits paid to people from other EU countries without jobs.

(LENNART PREISS/Getty Images)

The German Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that would deny welfare benefits to unemployed citizens of other EU nations for five years. Defenders of the plan, which has yet to be taken up by parliament, argue that Germany needs to prevent inactive citizens from other EU members from claiming benefits in the country. The proposal marks a notable development in the evolution of the free movement of people in the European Union, one of the bloc's founding tenets. From a principle that guarantees the free movement of citizens, the bloc could be slowly moving to a free movement of workers....

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