As recession continues to hit hard on European countries, some smart immigrants from Spain even without working documents and visa are now heading to North Africa, Morocco to look for jobs and new life.
Last week, Morocco signed an accord with the European Union, EU, to ease the problems of mobility and immigration. The first of its kind between Europe and a country south of the Mediterranean, the accord is expected to address issue of irregular immigration and also human trafficking.
Over the years the numbers of Moroccans that travel each year mostly to the Spanish peninsula to work in the agricultural, hospitality, construction and service sectors or have better European living lifestyle have swollen considerably.
With an estimated 770,000 Moroccans living in Spain by 2011 forming 12.7 % of Spain’s foreign population, and 1.4 % of Spain total population, according to Wikipedia, nobody would have imagined that it shall come a day when the reverse would be true – Spaniards crossing over to Morocco to search for jobs.
According to reports from the national Statistics Institute of Spain, the number of Spaniards living in Morocco has quadrupled over the last decade – from 2003 to 2011.
As the influx of immigrants from Spain grows, tens of thousands are believed to be illegally living and working in Morocco.
Spain’s economy like that of most of its European neighbours is struggling as the unemployment rate moves to double figures.
The choice of Spaniards moving to Morocco is strange since Maghreb country itself is far from better to Spain.
With a GDP of one-sixth of that of Spain and an unemployment rate estimated at 30 per cent, Morocco is evidently in a deeper crisis than Spain
However, its geographical proximity, a weak currency, and good standard of living on a relatively low budget as compared to Spain offer the Spanish immigrants a better option to other neighbouring countries.
After the Arab spring, which swept through most of the North African countries causing a greater impact on the economic and discouraging foreign investment, only Morocco survived the odds, making it an El Dorado for most immigrants.