Spain has become the first country to use an EU 'Safeguard Clause' to restrict the free movement of workers within the European Union. On the 28th July 2011, the Spanish government requested a restriction of movement of Romanian workers entering their country, because of the serious disturbances to their labour market. Romanian immigrants have risen from 388,000 in 2006 to 823,000 in 2010, 30% of them being unemployed. The temporary measure has been allowed until 31 December 2012.
How long will it be before we are in the same position as Spain, as workers from other EU countries still pour in, including those who come straight to the UK to live on benefits. It was announced in the Daily Mail yesterday that only British businesses in the south are still recruiting, whilst many companies in the north are shedding jobs. The Mail reports that this has ‘raised fears that an unemployment timebomb is looming’.
This is one to watch closely, to see which other member countries follow Spain as their individual economies spiral downwards with the recession. It may well be the start of the end of freedom of movement between EU countries for unrestricted immigration. How would this leave the whole EU ideology?
See full information regarding Spain from Trevor Colman’s thEUnit.com and The Daily Mail ‘It’s going to be grimmer up North: Jobs divide set to widen across Britain as only employers in South continue to recruit’. Also see the EU Press Release.
Janet Clarke (Editor)