Our VoiceImmigration

Study Finds that Europeans Want Jobless Immigrants Out

Stephen Piggott • Mar 21, 2009

A recent Financial Times study found that citizens in Europe’s “big 5” countries of Spain, UK, France, Italy, and Germany want jobless immigrants to leave their countries. According to the poll, 79% of Italians, 78% of Britons, 71% of Spaniards, 67% of Germans and 51% of French nationals would back proposals to ask jobless immigrants to leave their country. Unemployment rates have soared in the EU’s largest countries and jobless nationals are looking for someone to blame. As usual, nationals pick on immigrants and blame them for all of their troubles.

To be honest, I am really getting sick of reading about anti-immigrant protests that have swept throughout Europe since the beginning of the global credit crisis. Instead of blaming the bankers and the people in the financial sector who literally threw people’s money away, EU nationals instead blame the easy target: immigrants. What most people in Europe do not know is that when the EU was formed, one of its 4 fundamental economic freedoms was the freedom of movement of labor among EU citizens. Many Europeans would argue my point and say that North Africans make up the bulk of the immigrants in their countries but that is not necessarily true. London now boasts the largest population of Polish people outside of the Polish capital Warsaw. Many EU policy makers believe that the freedom of movement of labor has helped fill gaps in EU labor markets and foreign workers helped grow the EU’s economy before the recession.

In recent weeks, EU nationals have taken to the streets to protest against the immigrants who reside in their countries. The protesters argue that there are many immigrants who come to their countries to leech off of the government. What the nationals forget was that while some immigrants in the EU may be jobless, others take the jobs that no one in Germany, France, England, Italy and Spain will take. I’ve said it before on this blog and I will say it again: if all the immigrants in the EU packed up and left, many of the EU countries would grind to a halt.

Immigrants come to the EU for the same reason immigrants come to the United States, they come in search of a better life. The global financial crisis was caused by people in the public sector and the financial sector, not immigrants. Almost all of the immigrants came to the “big 5” countries before the crisis began and got jobs fair and square. The citizens of France, Spain, England, Italy and Germany all had an equal opportunity to apply and receive these jobs but they chose not to. Immigrants have been hit by the crisis as hard if not harder than EU nationals. Because of the lack of jobs many immigrants have to remain in their home countries. The sad truth is that even when the financial crisis ends, immigrants will still be blamed for all of their host country’s problems.

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