Spain Sees Exodus as Crisis Deepens

Victor Mallet, Financial Times, October 17, 2011

Europe’s deepening economic and financial crisis has thrown Spanish population growth into reverse, with hundreds of thousands of Latin American migrants leaving the country because they are unable to find work.

After a decade of high immigration and rapid population growth, Spain’s population is now declining and fell by nearly 28,000 in the first half of this year to 46.12m, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).

“If current demographic trends are maintained, Spain would lose more than half a million inhabitants in the next 10 years, after a period of intense population growth,” INE said in a report on its projections published this month.

The reversal is remarkable because Spain and its fast-growing economy had been the most popular destination in the European Union for new immigrants, legal and illegal. {snip}

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Spanish commentators say the departure of unskilled migrants is to be expected in an economy with 21 per cent unemployment and will help to relieve pressure on the jobs market, even if the exodus is made up mainly of Ecuadoreans, Argentinians and other South Americans with prospects at home rather than jobless migrants from the Maghreb or sub-Saharan Africa who prefer to stay in Spain.

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  • shaunantijihad

    But no-one dare call the Saharans racist for preferring not to live in Saharan society. They prefer to live with Europeans. But if Europeans say they prefer to live with Europeans, for exactly the same reasons, then…?

  • ghw

    “the departure will help to relieve pressure on the jobs market, even if the exodus is made up mainly of Ecuadoreans, Argentinians and other South Americans rather than jobless migrants from the Maghreb or sub-Saharan Africa who prefer to stay in Spain.”

    ……………………..

    So you are saying that while the South Americans, such as Argentines, will leave, the North African Moors from the Maghreb will stay.

    Is that an improvement?

  • Anonymous

    “Europe’s deepening economic and financial crisis has thrown Spanish population growth into reverse, with hundreds of thousands of Latin American migrants leaving the country because they are unable to find work.”

    Marvelous news!!!! The fewer immigrants there are, the more jobs for the Spanish. If this continues the crisis will soon be over. I’m sure the Spanish employers, like American employers are still complaining about a labor shortage.

  • Anonymous

    Spain began offering cash incentives in 2008 to get unemployed foreigners to give up their residency permits and return home.

    As of the early part of 2011, before the European debt crisis hit, 17,000 had taken cash to leave. The Spanish government is aiming at attracting 87,000 to the program.

  • Jason C.

    Three interesting pieces of news you should highlight:

    http://goo.gl/kpcBh

    http://goo.gl/tD5cq

    http://goo.gl/cT92r

  • fred

    even if the exodus is made up mainly of Ecuadoreans, Argentinians and other South Americans with prospects at home rather than jobless migrants from the Maghreb or sub-Saharan Africa who prefer to stay in Spain.

    Have as many leave voluntarily as possible. That will reduce the clout of politicians pandering to immigrants. Then use that as an opportunity to slash benefits to immigrants which will push even more out.

  • Sardonicus

    “even if the exodus is made up mainly of Ecuadoreans, Argentinians and other South Americans with prospects at home rather than jobless migrants from the Maghreb or sub-Saharan Africa who prefer to stay in Spain”

    This is the key here: Africans once established in a First World Country with abundant social benefits will never leave voluntarily. I’ve seen this on television when African immigration scofflaws have been deported on flights back to Africa. Many behave violently and hysterically, almost as if they’re going to their deaths–quite a few have to be sedated. For these semi-employable people, living among “haters” and “bigots” is much preferable to being humanely deported back to their home countries.

  • voter

    “As of the early part of 2011, before the European debt crisis hit, 17,000 had taken cash to leave. The Spanish government is aiming at attracting 87,000 to the program.”

    With a severe financial crisis, you mean the government can still PAY foreigners to leave?

  • voter

    Are those people who are leaving actually going home, or are they just moving on to other European countries… shifting the burden from Spain to elsewhere?

  • Kenelm Digby

    I bet even the most damned foolish member of Spain’s political eilte bitterly regrets their nation’s previous ‘open borders’ immigration policy and the multiple ‘amnesties’ – though I also wager that they are too pompous and arrogant to actually own up to their stupidity.