Spain's Immigrants Offered Payouts to Leave After Construction Bust

Spain's booming construction industry was fuelled by immigrant workers, who were encouraged to come to Spain. The economic crisis has now stalled many of those construction projects.

"In the continent's younger economies, notably Spain and Ireland, the worldwide financial downturn has predominantly been a crisis of the building industry. In Spain, a quarter of all working-age adults last year were employed in the booming construction sector.

The boom quickly ended: This summer, home sales in Spain were down 30 per cent over last year and new mortgages down almost 40 per cent -- and that was before credit markets collapsed. The downturn has left more than 2.6 million people out of work in this country of 45 million, with unemployment at 11.3 per cent, the highest in the 27 European Union countries.

And more than half of those workers were immigrants, hired from Romania, Morocco and especially from Latin America during the past 10 years by construction firms. [Prime Minister] Zapatero has spent the past four years making these immigrants, who now comprise one-tenth of Spain's population, feel at home.

This month, he began to offer another option: He would pay them a year's benefits, in cash, if they went back home for at least three years. Forty per cent would be payable in advance, the rest upon arrival. When they returned to Spain, they would get their old immigration status back."

Full Story: Madrid to pay surplus immigrant tradesman to go home, come back later


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.