Spain: Favorite place to live and work for Europeans

An FT/Harris opinion poll published on Monday lists Spain as the most popular destination for Europeans thinking of working abroad.

The poll also portrays Spain as a country at ease with itself: its citizens are relaxed about immigration and are the most optimistic citizens of any major European country that their lives are getting better.

The survey found that while the UK is second only to Spain as a preferred work destination, British citizens have become more hostile than anyone else in western Europe to immigration from the EU. Almost half – 47 per cent – of Britons said immigration was having a “negative impact” on their economy.

Perhaps the most striking finding is the extent to which Spain has emerged as an inwardly confident and outwardly attractive country, 21 years after joining the EU as one of its poorest member states.

It found 17 per cent of those polled put Spain as the country in which they would most like to work, ahead of Britain on 15 per cent and France on 11 per cent. French and Italian citizens were the most likely to want to emigrate there. Spain had the lowest number of people who considered life was getting worse (50 per cent) and its citizens were by far the most positive about the economic benefits of immigration.

A total of 42 per cent of Spaniards believed immigration was good for the economy, compared with 19 per cent in Britain and France.

Last Friday, the EU monetary affairs commissioner upgraded his growth forecasts for Spain in 2007 from 3.4 per cent to 3.7 per cent, making it one of the bloc’s most dynamic economies.

Original article at MSNBC – Financial Times: Spain tops destination list for EU migrants

This article connects with another recent one from El País that underscores how fast and deeply Spain has turned into a multi-cultural society. Nowadays, 8.5% of the population is foreign-born and 11.51% of newborns in 2005 came from bi-national families (a Spaniard and a foreigner).  Even though the integration of immigrants always presents problems everywhere – and Spain is not an exception – such a high rate of intermarriage linked to the widespread perception of immigration as good are surely positive signs of the inclusiveness of the country.

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