Moroccan Immigrants, Spanish Strawberries and Europe’s Future

When strawberries ripen, Spanish farmers seek short-term workers who can pick the berries carefully and quickly – and then return home, rather than stay and cause any problems in European communities that have come to resent illegal immigrants. And the strawberry farmers are adamant about their employment preferences: fit woman under the age of 40 who are married and have children in neighboring Morocco. The farmers cover housing and travel; provide classes in Spanish and other subjects; guarantee jobs the following season to women who return to Morocco; and pay 10 times what the women would otherwise earn in Morocco. European officials, in desperate need of labor for all sorts of low-wage, unskilled positions, are intrigued by the success of the legal guest-worker program. Some politicians describe the program as “ethical immigration” and propose similar partnerships between European communities and nations throughout Africa. However, the guest-worker program also promotes gender bias, and organizers have proposed little in the way of accommodation for disgruntled husbands and children left behind in North Africa. – YaleGlobal

Moroccan Immigrants, Spanish Strawberries and Europe's Future

It used to be that residents of southern Spain would head to Germany as guest workers, but now the region hosts guest workers of its own – from Morocco
Daniela Gerson
Monday, May 14, 2007

Click here to read the article in Der Spiegel.

Daniela Gerson is a German Chancellor Scholar from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

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