Spanish Exodus: Back to Latin America

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in ,, at 11/04/2012 11:30:00 AM
[NOTE: This is another of my "Hard Times in Hispania" installations.] In a recent post, I described how many young, jobless Spaniards sought employment in Germany despite the language barriers. It may seem odd but it's true: many Spaniards and those who migrated there when times were better from Latin countries are now going to Latin America--especially since linguistic differences are obviously negligible compared to, say, Germany. The days of Spain's own housing boom and the concomitant requirement for housing construction labour are long over. Whereas the Big Thing not so long ago was to seek greener pastures in Spain, unemployment rates over 25% have done Spain in. Truly, it's a reversal of fortunes:
After joining the euro in 1999, Spain's economic boom made it the land of opportunity for millions of Latin American migrant workers. But since the decade-long boom turned to bust roughly four years ago, many of those immigrants have returned, joined by a growing number of disillusioned Spaniards who hope that Latin America, with its developing economies and low cost of living, has more to offer.

 Spaniards are traditionally reluctant to emigrate and they are among the least likely in Europe to go abroad for work. But with the unemployment rate at 25 percent, more Spaniards are ready to leave behind the comforts of home.
More and more, it's Spaniards themselves and not naturalized citizens who are going elsewhere:
Roughly 370,000 people emigrated from Spain in 2011, 10 times more than before the economy tanked in 2008. Although about 86 percent of them were naturalized immigrants born abroad, there is also a growing number of native Spaniards saying "ya basta" ("enough is enough"). Over 50,000 left last year, up 80 percent since before the crisis hit. More than 9,000 went to Latin America, up from about 3,600 in 2006, said Jesus Fernandez Huertas of Spanish think tank Fedea, citing data from the national statistics office.
I fear it will be a long, long time until they come back