3 Jan, 2014 @ 10:51
1 min read

Romanian migrants snub UK in favour of Spain

airport queues
Airport queues

SPAIN is proving a much more attractive destination for Romanian migrants than the UK, according to a data agency.

A total 96% of those moving to EU countries choose destinations other than the UK.

The UK has 80,000 of 2.12m Romanian migrants in the EU. However, the figure is much higher in Italy (888,000) and Spain (823,000). Germany has 160,000.

The UK also has 26,000 of 437,000 Bulgarian migrants in the EU. However, Spain has 168,000, Germany 66,000, Greece 55,000 and Italy 46,000.

A report published by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) in 2013 found that the main destination choice for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals was Italy and Spain.

Between 2006 and 2007, the year that Romania joined the EU, their Italian presence almost doubled.

As with the UK, Spain has now lifted work restrictions. But it is already home to one million Romanians and Bulgarians.

Spain’s ambassador to Romania, Estanislao de Grandes Pascual said “the vast majority of Romanians is well integrated”.

Claire Wilson

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  1. Linguistically, it’s easier for Romanians in Italy and Spain and of course they are descended from Romans who displaced the Dacians, hence the name of the country.

    The question is, are there more low wage jobs available in either country for the Romanians and Bulgarians, I don’t think so. Jobs that the Spanish refused to do in the good times they jump at now.

    The only ones who want this influx of cheap labour are the greedy elite who care nothing for their own countries but they should be mindful of the growing anger across the western European countries – is the economy a function of society or is society a function of business, when ordinary people begin to ask this question seriously could lead to interesting times.

  2. the problem some people have, like Stuart Crawford, is that the brits know absolutely nothing about their european ‘partners’ on whom they spy with the nsa… the question ‘are there more low wage jobs available’ is so stupid. one should know romanians ans bulgarians who took low wage jobs left long ago. it’s the highly skilled migrants now. ;)

  3. klaas,
    I’ve lived and worked in 3 different mainland countries, don’t tell me that I know nothing about Europe – that really is stupid – oh yes and all European countries are spying on each other, not German by any chance are you – GSP/Stazi.

  4. sure you did :))
    just by implying I was German you show you don’t know anything about Europeans. If you knew just a bit, my name would have been so easy for you to “decipher”.

  5. Why don’t people just stay in their own country and build it up with EU help to what they would want it to be, instead of moving into other countries and creating an overpopulation problem? I am not xenophobic in the least, but surely would it not be better in the long run for everyone?

  6. That’s a very simplistic approach. the vast majority of people stay in their own country. There are also, have always been and always will be, people who move to different countries. the reasons can be: for a better job, education, adventure, experience and so on. the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, South America as well, are examples of countries built by people who left their homelands for one of the reasons I mentioned.
    It’s better to think twice before making such a stupid comment.

  7. ‘Klaas’ is a German name as well as a Dutch one (and a Danish one) so it’s not as obvious as you assume.

    Migration between EU member states is not that different from migration within large countries like the US and Canada. It’s commonplace for people in states or provinces where there are few jobs to go to ones where there are more jobs – for example, until recently, people leave Newfoundland, historically one of the poorest provinces in Canada, to find work in Alberta, which with its oil industry, is the richest.

  8. That’s rich – They may fail to integrate, probably due to the language, and also not being as receptive to learning new languages as younger people are either, no disrespect meant, but in the main those who moved to “sunny” Spain did so at the end of their working days, and have not been a burden to the economy rather the reverse, spending their hard worked for pensions in this country and thus contributing to its economy. What I was trying to get at with my, to some, stupid comment, was just how wise is it to emigrate to countries, like Spain for e.g. that are already having trouble, six million last time I looked, with employment and with their own depleting social services, instead of staying where they were born and contributing to build up theirs. USA, Australia and the like are now no good example to put forward as countries that welcome migrants looking for work, adventure, education or what have you because you can no longer move there unless you have a firm work contract beforehand so… who is being stupid here.

  9. In my humble opinion, and it is only an opinion, others may differ, with more and more countries opting into the EU, it is about time that the EU took a good long hard look at their open borders policies and made some amendments. We cannot all live in the sunnier parts of Europe however much we’d like to. Its all to do with resources and space limitations.

  10. Klaas is a Dutch name, Klaus is the German. period. You will find Germans named Klaas but they are originally Dutch.

    @It ain’t Cricket
    if we restrict freedom of movement for people, any country affected by it can start restricting freedom of movement for capita, goods and services and the free market is over, EU makes no sense and that will and should never happen.
    on the other side, any country that doesn’t agree with the 4 freedoms of movement should just leave the EU and / or free market and start paying VTA for doing business with the rest. as simple as that.

  11. and also, the countries you mention, USA, Canada, Australia etc , all have an immigration programme that doesn’t require a job offer. they have a points system, where having a job offer only boosts your total, but is not compulsory. do your research before speaking.
    even if you were right here though, i still don’t see the relevance to what i previously said, i was just giving you the historical context

  12. Klaas,
    the countries you mention were’nt built by Europeans they were invaded and the inhabitants slaughtered in their millions – whose being stupid now.

    I have quite a few Dutch friends (I once lived and worked in the province of Holland0 and they are not at all happy with all the immigration from countries that have zero cultural similarities.

    Your written English is terrible for a Dutchman, also as Ken said you could easily have been Danish or German.

  13. I forgot to mention but the first Romanian to arrive in 2014 took a job at a car wash but is an electrician who wants to work in the construction industry – we have enough unemployed electricians – I wonder what job opportunities exist for Uk electricians in Romania or Bulgaria.

    There used to be a very good system in Europe which my father took advantage of in 1926. He took a job in the Italian Alps as a trainee waiter – it was simply quid quo pro as an Italian got a job in the UK. He learned to speak fluent Italian and French and a lot of German. BTW, whilst registering at an employment centre there he witnessed southern Italians being told to go back to where they came from as there was no work for them there – interesting that, don’t you think.

    With this system I would be entirely happy as would my Dutch and German friends

  14. The points system is just another way of controlling who can come into a country and who cannot, who will be useful to that particular country, and who won’t be allowed in because they will only end up living under a bridge, and they may have enough of those already, unfortunately. Now concentrating on the European Union, which is what the subject is at the moment and without any personal acrimony please. There may be times when a particular EU country may have positions open for, say, construction workers, or hospital staff or whatever and may be unable to cover these positions with their own people, then by all means other EU citizens could be invited to apply and given first option, but if not, what is the use of emigrating from one EU member country to another, if the intended country we want to move into is already saturated and there is massive unemployment? It doesn’t make any sense at all to me, at least. It will only lead to more problems. And as to movement of capital, well we have all been privy to what that has brought about for Spain in particular. Free movement of goods, yes, free trade yes, and helping each other to prosper yes, but unless we intend to sink what is otherwise a buoyant country able to cover the employment and social needs of its people by over populating it and draining its resources, no.

  15. It is a big and interesting subject and has many angles. I do not know exactly the rules of Spain but I believe you have to pay into the system for a couple of years before they pay anything out? I expect that most of the people in Spain must be picking the fruit and low wage jobs but I expect many have jobs. I dare say if you took all of the immigrants out of the UK much of it would come to a halt, certainly the hotel sector, food production and car washing! I did read the other day that non contracted staff can be paid below minimum wage and I expect all these low wage workers could be brining business that would otherwise go to the low paid Countries. The point you hear very often is that the Polish builders and others are being so competitive that the home population is now not earning a living wage, HGV drivers used to be paid reasonably well but are now paid very little. I was speaking to a UK fuel tanker driver when I was in Spain and he was stating that the Polish will drive for almost nothing. That can be done if you are living 10 to a house and do that for a few years, buy your mansion back home and then live happily ever after but the point that most will make is that for the families who do not live 10 to a house it is becoming difficult to survive with the day to day bills. In the paper today there is a private landlord who is giving notice to 200 of his 1,000 tenants who claim the dole as he wants eastern Europeans in. For the non-lazy of these 200 they probably think that the Country is being taken over. I don’t think you can have unlimited numbers in any Country, say the UK has 70 million, is it OK to increase this to 100 million in 5 years as an extreme example? We do need foreign workers but how many and from what Countries. I think the Polish fit in very well with the UK but others bring it down. The EU has too many 3rd world Countries coming in and that is the problem for me.

  16. Reap I don’t know how the system works in Spain, since I have never worked or lived in Spain, but yes, I do understand where you are coming from. It is the problem of people accepting to work for lower than the minimum wages which will cause a massive problem and there are always those who will take advantage of this to the detriment of others and many years of hard work by Unions. It is happening everywhere not just in England. The authorities should clamp down on this wherever it occurs. An honest pay for an honest day’s work or it will become mayhem.

    Anyway, they do say you should not go to bed without learning something new each day, and I just have. Romania is the correct term to use now and not Rumania as I had previously been taught. This however presents an added problem when writing or speaking in Spanish because, where previously you could differentiate between who was a Rumano and a Romano, (the latter being the translation for the word Roman of antiquity or Roman or Romano coming from Rome)how does one know now who we are referring to when using the “new” term? The mind boggles.

  17. @klaas Klaas is also a Danish name – the Danish used to use ‘aa’ before they changed their spelling to bring it closer to the other Scandinavian languages and replaced it with ‘å’. Some people do spell it ‘Klås’.

    “You will find Germans named Klaas but they are originally Dutch.”

    You will find Flemish people in Belgium with French names, but try telling them they’re “originally French.”

    @Stuart Crawford Klaas’s English isn’t that bad apart from the punctuation, starting sentences with a lower case letter, and saying “period” like an American. Talking American English to British people is like talking Argentine Spanish to Spanish people – they’ll understand you but not take you too seriously.

    @It ain’t Cricket Good point, as “Romania” is correct in Spanish, but “Rumania” is still far more widely used, and people from the country are still “rumanos” not “romanos”. In Portuguese, it’s “Roménia” and “romenos”. In English, “Rumania” is now old-fashioned, although the Spectator insisted on using it until the 1990s – it’s actually influenced by French “Roumanie”, and a century ago, people used “Roumania” in English as well.

  18. I’m almost sure my english is better than your Dutch or German.
    You are just looking for another Westerner to agree with your views about immigration. If I were saying I hated migration from Eastern Europe you would have agreed with me, and my english would have been perfect.
    I have no problem with english being lingua franca, but don’t tell me mine is bad, cause I know it’s very good.

    Like I said, it’s very simple: IN or OUT! you’ll have your referendum, vote wisely.
    To be honest, not many Europeans will cry many tears after you left. The UK contributes politically very little in Europe. If we had a referendum in Europe whether the UK should stay in teh EU, I would vote NO.
    We can’t have only freedom of movement for people from rich countries, but expect those poor countries to open their markets for our companies.
    I also find it funny how brits call themselves “expats” when living in another country, but all others are immigrants. We still call ourselves immigrants if we live in Germany for instance.
    PS. now write this in Dutch or German

  19. I was looking through the net and found this on good old BBC which, coming from a young Bulgarian makes perfect sense to me and shows his love for his country and the wish that it will prosper, if all things are done properly of course, may I add. Isn’t that what we all want for our own particular bits of Europe?


    “I do think that more people will decide to go to other countries when the rules change in 2014. Bulgaria could end up losing qualified workers in many sectors.
    This could be a negative thing, and I would like to see people stay to help improve conditions in Bulgaria. We hope that our economy will improve in 2014 and so more people will decide to stay and help contribute to our country.”

    @Reap Found this which should at least address worries about employers taking advantage of immigrants to the detriment of others:-


    Says Cameron “In addition, employers paying less than the minimum wage will face a £20,000 fine per underpaid worker.”

    All said may I wish all Europeans and the world as a whole a prosperous Year and the rest of our lives, if possible, full of health and happiness.

  20. Cricket, there are many ways to reduce costs as pasted at the bottom of page. If a contract is for less than two years you don’t have to offer a pension etc. Don’t get me wrong I am far from left wing, Stevens thinks I am far right!

    Also, on another note, if you are from Europe and your husband or Wife works in the UK, you leave your kids in another Country you can still claim child benefit then send it home. Apparently there are 10’s of thousands of Polish doing this let alone the rest. There are people who do not have anyone living in the UK who still get paid Family allowance, that is illegal but I met people who do this in Spain.

    Maybe all these silly benefits along with the £12 billion in aid is a bit much for a small Country like the UK.

    If someone does not earn enough in the UK the Government will top it all up with family tax credits, housing benefit, council tax paid etc, so maybe we are subsidising these wealthy Companies to pay low wages who then pay no Corporation tax! There is always a clever accountant somewhere. You only have to earn just over £41k a year to pay 40% tax now, take a Comapny car off of that and you will be paying 40% after £35k. What is happening is pensions are being paid later or cut, means testing will come in for pensioners, the workers get shafted and only the rich or poor pay no tax.

    1 million of zero contracted hours
    ‘MORE than 200,000 public sector workers are on zero-hour contracts, which deny them job security and rights such as redundancy pay and pensions, while preventing them from taking up other work.
    However, it is the spread within the public and voluntary sector of ­zero-hour contracts, which do not guarantee hours of work, holidays or sick pay, that will set more alarm bells ringing in Whitehall.’

  21. Klaas,
    why don’t you just say that ‘you don’t like the Brits’ and be honest about it.

    ‘Cause I know it’s very good’ – bad English – should read because not cause.

    Free movement of labour is what the big companies always wanted, indeed it was the ‘real’ reason for forming the EC.

    The Dutch ‘coppelbosses’ made lots of money using ‘black/unregistered’ workers to build the oil rigs for the North Sea. The Dutch government knew full well what was going on.

    Your opinion on the free movement of labour is at odds with the vast majority of ordinary Dutch – are you employing cheap East European labour? You need to talk with Germans/Flemish/Walloon and French people they do not agree with you.

    If we knew what you did for a living we would know where your coming from. Are you affected by undercutting cheap foreign labour or not.

    Of course you Dutch will have to pay far more into the EC budget if we leave and as your economy is in real trouble that might be tad difficult.

    The Netherlands that I knew and enjoyed in the 60’s & 70’s has long gone so I’m told by my friend Harry ( a Freislander) and it would seem that you are a classic example of this negative change.

  22. The continuing influx of Romanians equates..that if they work at all…they will displace Spanish workers, who are already under tremendous challenges to find sustained employment.

    The the state un-employment rate in And at over 30% and national rate at 27%, there is no much hope for the “hopeful” end to the recession in Spain.

    And lastly, if people believe the State is providing figures that are no enhanced to give weight to the current administration…then you must believe in TinkerBell..

  23. Quite amazing cos all the British talk about in Spain is how the UK is flooded with this race and that race,this article proves their talking out their ass cos after living in Spain I now realise sunshine is not everything,Romanians are better people than the Brits on the costa’ scamming wimps who prey on the old through a telephone of for sun and a cheap bottle of wine.

  24. Funny replying to a thread after months, however nothing has changed in months. Countries thrive on migration. People forget that. They normally pay a lot more in taxes than they take out in benefits.

    As for sunny Spain, it does make you feel happier. Wine is cheaper too.

    Two great obvious things about Spain that anger miserable Brits who live in the uk on here. And a list of a hundred more things.


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