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Spain comes to life

Is it too little too late? Can Europe be saved?




Spain Adopts BNP Policy — Sets up Voluntary Repatriation Programme
By News Team ⋅ August 2, 2008 ⋅  Email this post ⋅  Print this post ⋅ Post a comment 

Immigrants in Spain who lose their jobs would be offered lump sum payments to return home as part of a package of planned reforms aimed at softening the impact on the labour market of the country’s economic downturn.

Celestino Corbacho, the employment and immigration minister, said on Tuesday he hoped the incentive would attract an initial “15 or 20″ per cent of the 100,000 foreign workers who currently qualify. The measures are directed mainly at low-skilled workers from Latin America and northern Africa.

Under the proposed scheme, legal immigrants from outside the European Union who became jobless would be offered 40 per cent of their unemployment entitlement on renouncing their residency and work permits.

The rest would be paid once the person was back in his or her country of origin. A typical pay-out for an immigrant worker with six years’ legal service and no children would be about €20,000.

Unemployment among non-Spanish workers surged 24 per cent in the first quarter this year. Officially, about 15 per cent of the immigrant community’s active population is out of work, compared with a national average of 9.6 per cent.

Immigrant associations say the figure is probably more than 20 per cent after accounting for illegal workers.

Spain’s move comes as the EU is expected to agree minimum rules for the deportation of immigrants who outstay their visas or have asylum claims rejected. The European parliament should back the so-called returns directive on Wednesday.

BNP policies are therefore becoming mainstream in Europe - and it is about time that Britain also starts taking these very sensible measures - including putting into effect existing schemes which have never been properly implemented.