Spain is planning to stop issuing visas to unskilled migrant workers. Posposals aimed at stemming a tide of immigration could force employers to prove they are unable to fill vacant posts from applicants in Spain before bringing in foreign workers.
Agricultural workers are unhappy with the move which means seasonal crop pickers won’t be able to travel to Spain for work.
“I’ve been working here for seven years now. When I arrived there were some Spaniards working but recently we are all immigrant workers, so I think it’s unfair,” said harvester Mihaela Radu.
The Labour and Immigration ministry argues that it’s unreasonable, with unemplyment at two and a half milion, to recruit people from abroad.
One hundred and eighty thousand foreign workers arrived in Spain last year.
Amudena Fontecha of the UGT union said: “Contracts issued in countries of origin are not the cause of unemployment. We agree the numbers could be regulated but it’s the employers who control the market.”
The number of immigrants in Spain has risen to ten per cent of the population in a decade, with mainly low-paid workers arriving from Latrin America, Morocco, Asia, eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.