Officially Spain issued almost 12 thousand work permits for Poles last year, but on the spot one immediately finds out there are hundreds of thousands of them, even though many might say the language is a bit of a problem. As it usually is in a tourist country, there are plenty of seasonal jobs going, and Poles definitely snatch them first happily. When Alicja arrived in Barcelona at the end of June, she could hardly say a few words in Spanish, but when she got the job as a waitress, the knowledge of English turned out to be much more useful to her and her Polish friends:
"I met quite a lot of Polish people who came to Barcelona to work just for holidays. Not all of them spoke Spanish but that wasn't necessary There were a lot of Irish pubs and there one can work even without speaking Spanish. All of us also tried to have fun besides working. I had enough time to get to know life in Barcelona in Catalonia which I guess is much different than the rest of the country. I had a really good time at work and I started to learnSpanish of which I'm happy and just continuing it."
"When I came here I found a flat to live in and then a job but in my first two jobs I was fired within a month without any particular reason given to me. I think I just spoke poor Spanish and the employers just took advantage of that. The first one even valued my work for only 2 euros per hour. I couldn't believe it. It became very difficult to me to make ends meet. Thankfully I found this job through friends. I've been working for an Englishman on Costa del Sol for almost 3 months, have good relations with my Spanish manager and finally earn decent money. I'm sure this will let me stay here some longer time in Andalusia now."
"There are many many people from Eastern Europe here in Spain. I think the main reason that that happened is the amnesty that Spain announced last year as regards those living here illegally. A lot of people from Eastern Europe were already here but weren't legal residents in Spain. So the government said Ok, we're going to change all this. That encouraged further people to come. So e.g. now you'll find a lot of Polish people, Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians working in restaurants and bars helping out in houses and gardens and jobs like that."
As experts say, one of the things that helps Poles find employment in Spain even though they just start learning the language, is the good reputation they have earned in other countries that flung their doors open to Polish labourers ahead of Spain.Listen to the report:
Do Europeans need or want to get any closer together? As romania and Bulgaria prepare to join the EU in 2 months time we look at how they're being welcomed, or not. As the banlieues burn we look at inner city deprivation and at what's being done to stop the rot. Europe's getting bigger all the time and our leaders in Brussels are keen for it to keep expanding. And there are plenty of states keen to join. Turkey and several Balkan states are currently front of the queue to start negotiations. What some predict will happen then is a mass-migration as east europeans seek better wages as they go west. So what do europeans think of the expansion and the prospect of the continent experiencing a massive labour force on the move? Network Europe's reporters have been out on the streets of the capitals to find out.
The United Kingdom recently announced it would not be extending its "open door" policy to workers from Romania and Bulgaria, when they join the European Union in just under two months' time. That move comes in reaction to the phenomenal influx of workers following the last EU enlargement in 2004, with actual numbers far, far exceeding official estimates. And the biggest wave of immigration in British history is really making its mark on the country.
The starting point for all discussions about deprived suburbs and the violence they suffer is still the rioting in Paris last year that stunned Europe. The problems that led to those incidents have not gone away. Most young people of north African origin living in France's deprived suburbs, as French citizens, are entitled to vote. But a nationwide campaign launched last year has failed to convince young people to go and register to vote en masse. Many of them say politicians are out of touch with their lives. Network Europe found out why.
And finally, here is this month's Network Europe quiz. Don't bother googling it - we just tried and it came up with nothing useful - As you know we love to fix qoutas on everything here in Europe and of course those products all then have a quota surplus - so this month's question is: How many olympic size swimming pools would the european wine lake fill? Answer please to email@example.com. Special prizes are prepared for the winner.
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