President Basescu: We are not worried about the prospect of Romanians returning from Spain and Italy

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President Traian Basescu on Monday welcomed officials of Romanian communities from Spain, saying that the prospect of Romanian emigrants coming back home is not worrying.
‘We know for sure that the resumption of economic growth is a matter of one year, maybe one and a half year, and the alarm that Romanians are coming back from Spain and Italy is not an alarm at all on the contrary, I say there will be jobs,’ said Basescu.
He added that he is particularly interested in the impact of the economic crisis on Romanians in Spain, especially as far as unemployment is concerned, because the figures he has indicate a quite high jobless rate.
‘I do not know how sizeable or attractive the social benefits can be there, particularly for those who have not contributed to the Spanish social security fund. I want you to know from the very beginning one thing: the potential return home of the Romanians is not scary to us, because last year it was impossible for us to carry on some projects because of labour shortages,’ said Basescu.
The President mentioned that during a visit last week to Romania of the Spanish labour minister an inter-governmental agreement was signed between the relevant ministries of Romania and Spain, and one of the obligations under it is that the jobs available in Romania should be notified to the Spanish job information centres as well, so that Romanian expats wanting to come back home may see the jobs on offer.
‘There is another extremely important thing we have been discussing, something I have initiated with Prime Minister Zapatero and I also approached with the labour minister, is that we are interested in Spanish companies wining tenders in Romania on European funds recruiting labour directly from Spain,’ Basescu explained.
Chairman of the Federation of Romanian Associations of Europe Daniel Tecu voiced hope in a better relationship with the Department for Romanians Everywhere with the Romanian Government. He said there are almost one million Romanians living in Spain, of whom an estimated 300,000 are unemployed, despite the official statistics indicating 70,000.
Basescu said official data reveal that there are 718,000 Romanian living in Spain, of whom 250,000 are employed, paying contributions to the Spanish social security fund.
‘The big gap between the existing Romanians and those contributing to the Spanish social security fund is worrying,’ said the President.
Gabriela Stan of Cordoba complained about the non-enforcement of a Government decision providing for the funds raised by the Romanian consular offices to be partially used to support the returning to Romania of Romanians who cannot afford to do so on their own.
She argued that Romanians who have previously been to Spain are returning there. ‘In one and a half year they have run out of savings and get back in a terrible situation because there are no jobs,’ she said.
The President said he does not believe this is a widespread phenomenon, given that unemployment in Romania is 5.5 percent, compared with 18 percent in Spain.
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