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Bulgaria, Romania to join E.U.

The week's news at a glance.

Brussels

After seven years of talks, the European Union has formally invited former Warsaw Pact countries Bulgaria and Romania to join the union. The two will become E.U. members next January—provided they meet some tough conditions. Before being given all the rights of full members, both countries must demonstrate that they have completed various economic and judicial reforms. The extra conditions were meant to reassure current member states worried that their labor markets could be flooded with East European job seekers. Bulgarian and Romanian leaders expressed confidence that they would qualify. For Bulgaria, said Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev, “this is the genuine and final fall of the Berlin Wall.”

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