MADRID In a typically political euphemism, Employment Minister Fátima Báñez recently referred to the 'external mobility' of young employables who are leaving Spain in relative droves for jobs in other parts of Europe. This used to be called 'brain drain'. Whatever the name, Báñez has admitted that a good many people, mainly university graduates, have left this country to seek better employment opportunities for work or study elsewhere - not surprising with unemployment among the critical 18 to 25 group at over 57%. According to the minister, there is some balance to the figures: in 2012 17,300 young people left Spain, but there were a lot of foreigners coming into the country. She pointed out that there are 30,000 Germans, 40,000 from the UK and 60,000 Italians here. "What we want,">>>
is for those who want to leave, to leave, but when the crisis is over, that talent should return." Another example of politicians not learning from history.
For its part, the Socialist opposition PSOE, has natutrally clutched at another opportunity to attack.
While saying that 'the brain drain could have been avoided', the PSOE refuses to take part in a sort of coalition move aimed at doing exactly that. More importantly, the party is loathe to admit its part in creating the frightening unemployment figures that have been coming up. (News as we write, unemployment figures are down by 46,050, or 0.91% compared to last month, and for the second consecutive month, which the unions attribute to seasonal variations and short-term and partial employment.)
Many of those who have left or are planning to leave point their finger at the Government's labour reform and its policies of cutbacks in education, health care and student grants.
Thousands of employees in either of these first two are severely under-employed, earning well under €1000 per month and unable now to continue their education or to undertake further study. This naturally affects mostly the youngest of them.
One source of information on the subject, the Federación Nacional de Asociaciones de Consultoría, Servicios, Oficinas y Despachos (National Federation of Consulting, Service, Offices and Firms Associations - basically, a large part of the service industry) says that over 300,000 Spaniards have left the country 'for lack of employment on the horizon.'