As Celtic Tiger Slows, Ireland Again Empties

With Eastern Europe booming, newcomers pack bags en masse
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2008 12:01 PM CDT
As Celtic Tiger Slows, Ireland Again Empties
This computer generated image released by European plane maker Airbus, Wednesday, June 6, 2007 shows an Airbus A350 bearing the colours of Irish airline Air Lingus.    (AP Photo/Airbus, Fixion, HO)

The massive Irish economic engine of the '90s brought decades of emigration to a screeching halt and hordes of EU immigrants flooding through open borders to lay claim to plentiful jobs. But as the Celtic Tiger begins to look like a kitty, the Wall Street Journal reports, many of those immigrants are packing their bags and heading home—where the boom times are on the rise.

If that reverse migration becomes too pronounced it could exacerbate the slowdown. But most are applauding workers’ newfound ability to country-hop to find work. “These immigrants are simply putting into life the very idea of European integration,” said one Polish migration researcher. This “is exactly what we wanted in introducing the whole idea of a common market.” (More European Union stories.)

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