Spain to pay jobless Romanians who return home

6th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Spain will continue to pay unemployment benefits to Romanian immigrants who want to return home to look for work.

MADRID – Spain will continue to pay jobless benefits to unemployed immigrants from Romania if they decide to return home to look for work, Labour Minister Celestino Corbacho said Tuesday.

To qualify a Romanian immigrant must agree in writing to "actively search" for work after his return, he told reporters one day after making an official visit to Bucharest.

During his visit Corbacho signed an agreement with the government of Romania, which has a much lower unemployment rate than Spain, that aims to make it easier for Romanian immigrants living in Spain to return home.

But Romanian Labour Minister Marian Sarbu said few Romanian immigrants had shown an interest in returning because they felt life in Spain, even while collecting unemployment benefits, was more comfortable, according to Spanish media reports.

Spain's unemployment rate reached 17.4 percent in the first quarter of 2009 – the highest in the 27-nation European Union – as the global financial crisis hastened a correction that was already underway in its once-buoyant property sector.

By comparison the unemployment rate in Romania stood at 5.6 percent at the end of March.

Of the 750,000 Romanians legally living in Spain, 70,912 are unemployed, according to government figures.

Romanians make up the largest non-hispanic immigrant group in Spain, a nation of some 46 million people.

AFP / Expatica

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