Spanish society is boiling with rage, is anxious about tomorrow, helpless against banking and robbers’ policies. That’s the country where V for Vendetta will come true. But meanwhile, hundreds of thousands Spanish emigrate to find a better living. In Germany. An Andalusian newcomer in Berlin shares his point of view on massive emigration.
To leave a place that is your dearest home, where the family bonds are of a great value, the weather treats you well and the sense of humour is one of a kind, is always a complicated process. And that’s what happens if you leave Spain. Nobody would do that without a good reason.
‘Fuga de cerebros’ – Brain drain, that’s how we call it. In Spain we’ve got a surplus of educated, well-qualified people. The thing is that there’s barely some jobs left for them. The government invests the public money in insanely useless projects, instead of focusing on the basic needs of every nation: health care, education and research. Imagine that Spain, being just about 20% larger than Germany, has almost 3 times more airports! It means – 50. A lot of them is not able to sustain themselves without further investments, and around 4 of them (worth millions, if not milliards euro) are not being used at all. Same with huge conference and sports centers, ghost highways or abandoned, due to severe credit policy, real estates. Week by week it comes to light that construction of above mentioned was a fruit of corruption and money laundering.
That’s why watching TV in Spain you see more football, than actual news. How much of good news have we got left?
For some years now, Germany has been one of the top destinations for waves of Spanish expats, striving for work. It’s been starkly idealized. Germany is considered to be a country where the problem of unemployment practically doesn’t exist. An average Spanish person thinks that crossing the German border, they’d get a job straight away, earn some good money and live a better life. No matter if they speak German, or not. More than that – no matter if they speak English, or not. That easily leads to strong disappointments.
Emigration, in most cases, needs more preparation than checking out where the cheapest low-cost flights arrive. I believe it’s not only the case of Spain, but generally it applies to all the countries where the economical and/or political circumstances force their citizens to leave.
Indeed, there’s a lot of us in Berlin. The city has a lot to offer, but I guess that a significant amount of people choose it because it’s fashionable. There’s nothing wrong with it – I also think that it’s a cool, very dynamic and multicultural place. But if you move to Germany mainly looking for a good job position – maybe it’s worth a second thought. Berlin is already overcrowded by many sorts of people. We all want nice jobs. Definitely there are other cities in Germany, where you can find yourself in the market a lot easier. And where you’d learn the language faster. In the capital it’s very easy to forget why you’re actually here. There’s a lot of foreigners like you, Spanish like me. They speak your mother tongue, you can spend time with them at ease, without being forced to make an effort of language learning. Surely you can get a position that doesn’t involve German speaking. But is it really better to wash German dishes than Spanish ones? Is it really the goal? Do we really move to another country to meet our, equally desperate, fellow citizens; chat in our mother tongue and hang out in this closed circle of the well-known?
I really hope that some day I’ll be able to go back home. To my family, to my culture, to my sun. But I know it’s not to happen in any of the following years. If ever, during my lifetime. I’d love to retire there, at least. In Andalucía, my homeland, over 30% of inhabitants, are unemployed. Most of my best friends have already left. To USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, or even Asia. Those who remain at home, are planning to leave, struggling against the current situation or cherishing the last vacancies, no matter what are the offered conditions. A lot of them would be helped by their relatives, as I said, the family bonds are crucial for us. They can also get paro, as we say, so the social aid for unemployed. That system saves a lot of families, but sometimes can be demotivating. Some people boast about receiving social aid, saying that they do nothing and still get money. That won’t lead us to any solutions.
Before moving to settle down in Berlin I had already lived in Germany before. I did my student exchange programme in south Germany. Then an internship. I’ve been learning German for years, and still there’s so much ahead. I wouldn’t choose Berlin if not a job offer that my girlfriend had got there. When we got to the town we had no flat, no papers, I had no work. We were sending dozens of requests every day. Mostly – no answer. For a month we lived at friends’ flat, observing how our savings were fading. The beginning is always difficult. And, as my friend says, the first 3 months in a new place always suck. But then, it all started to change. Very slowly, lazily, step by step – but for the better!
I’m not saying that you’d better stay where you were born and struggle under your national burden. I, myself, did not. I’m just saying that settling down in a foreign land implies hard work and doubtless motivation. There’s no paradise in this world.