Let me start with a disclaimer of sorts. I was born and bred in Spain, before career opportunities (or lack of) inspired me to move to England, a country I’ve long considered as my home.
Spain, impossibly beautiful and drenched in sunshine, is currently reporting around 22% unemployment figures, with youth unemployment peaking at around 40%. Local administrations are cutting down on essentials like there’s no tomorrow and even paying their bills late, hardly able to stay afloat. It is easy to see that unfortunately the country cannot offer young professionals and recent graduates the career development opportunities they worked so hard for. They crave success and they are told to go on a waiting list to (maybe) get a part-time job stacking shelves. Until recently, Spain had been welcoming immigrants from South America to feed its housing industry in the boom years; it is now seeing some of its most talented and best qualified quit to make a future for themselves in countries such as Germany.
Let us not forget that 60% of Spanish workers make just around €1,000 a month gross. Where do your personal responsibilities end and the common good for society starts? After a university degree, it is right to want to be more than a mileurista? But a brain drain is going to mean that when the economy eventually picks up, my first homeland is going to be ill equipped, playing Cinderella in perpetuating a two-speed Europe again. Yet no government has the right to ask individuals to set their dreams aside to potentially help everyone else. Sometimes today is all we have.