Spaniards Fleeing Jobless Scourge Seek Jobs in Morocco
Barcelona-born architect Jean-Pierre Monguard Estragues says it’s much easier to find clients and projects in Marrakesh than back home in Spain.
“The money isn’t the best pay I’ve ever had but it allows me to live and send some home,” says Monguard, 40, whose friends paid for his flight to Morocco nearly two years ago as he drowned in bills after losing his job. “Experience and know-how are much more appreciated here than they are in Spain.”
Spain’s population fell last year for the first time in at least four decades as more than a quarter of the workforce found themselves without a job. That highlights the turnaround in fortune for a nation that saw hiring surge during its economic boom. In the five years through 2007, Spain accounted for almost half the jobs created across the entire euro area.
Monguard describes the migration as an “economic, intellectual and cultural catastrophe” that’s driving out the country’s best educated generation. Before Morocco, he went to the Spanish island of Tenerife to start a small architectural practice, though that failed when his clients cut their budgets. That’s when a friend contacted him about work in the North African country; he now has half a dozen projects and is thinking of starting his own firm.
While Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says Spain is starting to recover from the crisis and the deepest austerity in its democratic history, it must still deal with the legacy of the recession: a 26 percent jobless rate. Almost a third of the unemployed in the 17-nation euro area are in Spain.
With the end of the real-estate boom that attracted foreign workers, annual migration into Spain has fallen by almost half in the past four years. At the same time, the number of Spaniards moving to Morocco last year was 32 percent higher than in 2008. After Latin American and European countries, it was the number one destination for Spanish emigrants.
Tags: the corliss group barcelona economy, spaniards fleeing jobless scourge seek jobs in morocco