Spain’s plan to lower unemployment

The World

Spain’s Labor Minister announced this controversial plan on Friday afternoon. He says it doesn’t seem reasonable to bring in outside laborers when unemployment is so high. The uproar began immediately. Immigrant groups accused the government of xenophobia, and Spanish employers are also upset. This farmer says he depends on foreign laborers for planting and harvesting because Spaniards aren’t interested in doing the labor. This year 80,000 foreign workers were hired on temporary work contracts in Spain. But keeping out of them of the country would barely dent the unemployment rate in the country, which has made some accuse the government of scapegoating. The proposal does reveal the government’s concern with the country’s economy. Spain’s Popular Party has long criticized the Socialist Party for accepting too many foreign workers, but this economist says such a focus on foreign labor is misguided. Spain says the country might actually be stemming the overall flow of immigrants by accepting some legal workers. Senegal, for example, is taking back its illegal immigrants and cracking down harder on human trafficking for Spain’s agreement to accept legal workers from Senegal. This Spanish worker accuses farmer bosses of hiring cheap foreign labor and driving down wages. He wants the government to crack down on illegal immigrants so wages will rise and then Spaniards will return to the fields.

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