Unemployed Moldovans seek work in jobless Spain
For eight months now, Olesea Goreanskaia has been looking for a job in Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city. Amidst a harsh recession that hit the country, the 21-year-old woman originating from Moldova has not been able to find a job to earn money. She is mainly relying on her boyfriend’s job and he works up to 15 hours a day. Goreanskaia bears dual citizenship – Moldovan and Romanian. Even though she has better chances to get a job with her Romanian passport – Romania joined the EU in 2007 – the woman is desperate because no one will hire her.
The employment opportunities for Romanian citizens broke down after Spain reintroduced work restrictions, for the labor force originating from Romania, until the end of 2012. The decision came amidst high unemployment in Spain, the country scoring the second highest jobless rate in the European Union – 25,02% with a steady increase.
“I cannot get employed because I am Romanian,” said the young woman from Moldova who also has Romanian citizenship. She added that even if she would accept illegal work, there are either no vacancies, or they have already found someone else.
“Sometimes they also claim that I don’t speak enough Spanish,” Goreanskaia said. “You have to also speak the Catalan language here.”
Living in Catalonia district, the people use a specific dialect which is totally different from Spanish.
Olesea Goreanskaia has been looking for a job in hotels, catering services or sales, but was not successful. She says that the employment agency in Spain cannot help her at all because of the work restrictions imposed on her by the Spanish market. Now she has to wait until the end of the year, hoping that Spain will lift the work restrictions for her.
Alina Schiopu’s story is even more complicated. She has been living in Spain for a year and five months now. During her stay, she has never worked because she is residing illegally in Spain. Schiopu does not have a Romanian passport. Using only her Moldovan citizenship, she is practically stranded in Spain because non-EU nationals are not allowed to work there.
Schiopu, 24, now struggles to legalize her stay. After she gets her residence permit, she hopes to find a decent job in an office, which, according to her, is quite hard to find.
“Finding a job as a room-cleaner is still possible in Spain, but a more serious job is difficult to find,” Schiopu explained.
She claims that her main disadvantage is her illegal status in Spain. Without the necessary paperwork, the employees avoid hiring foreigners, especially when the country is trying to cope with such a high unemployment rate.
Spain has become the hardest-hit country by the economic recession in the Eurozone. The youth unemployment rate in Spain spiked to 52,9 % in August this year, making it the second highest in Europe after Greece which was 55,4 % in June. According to Eurostat data, the youth unemployment rate at EU level was about 22,7 %. The lowest rate of jobless teenagers was registered in Germany (8,1 %).
The authorities in Madrid announced on Friday that the unemployment rate at the national level was about 25,02 % for the third quarter of the year.
The big amount of dismissals in Spain is worrying the people more and more. Every fourth person is unemployed and relies either on social security assistance or on their family.
“Now we are trying to earn some money and not spend it, we control it more than before,” said Judit Alaball Solà, a 21-year-old student from Barcelona, one of the most economically developed cities in Spain.
The young woman said that the quality of life has decreased significantly. According to her, lots of teachers and doctors have lost their jobs.
“There are more students in class than before and there are a lot of queues in the hospitals,” Solà said, adding that the prices have increased too.
Since the young generation is dealing with a harsh unemployment rate (every second youngster is jobless), the easiest way to escape this economic stalemate is to find a job in another country. That is why foreign language courses are very popular among the university students. Germany and the United Kingdom are among the favorite countries to emigrate to.
Judit Solà studied the German language in Berlin for one month this summer. She hopes to get a job in Germany if the Spanish labour market continues to collapse.
“For the young people, the easy way to get out of this crisis is trying to find a job in another country, Germany for example,” Solà explains. “So now, most of the university students are studying languages in order to find a job abroad. In 2012, in Catalonia, there are more people who have emigrated and less who have come to our country.”By Valeriu Gonta