The 300,000: a disgraceful emergency

How sad, how sad, how very sad. What a tremendous mess Spain seems to be making of its education and R&D policies, and of its attitudes towards science and its young people. Spain is clearly not capable of offering a dignified future to its children at this point and is about to destroy the very things which in theory should be saving it from total collapse.

In the unemployment capital of the world (5.4 million people), in the youth unemployment capital of the world (51.9%) and in a country which has seen 300,000 people leave to try earn a living abroad, we must now read of 7 scientific associations signing a letter in which they warn of the imminent disappearance of two whole generations of Spanish scientists thanks to different government cuts.

300,000 people is a figure comparable to the number of Spaniards who were exiled after the Spanish Civil War. Now we have 300,000 economic exiles.

5.4 million unemployed people, 51.9% youth unemployment, 300,000 people who have fled and two entire generations of scientists in imminent danger of disappearing.

Is that not a first–class national emergency?

Should we not be counting on those very people to rebuild the country instead of relying on the shockingly large numbers of corrupt politicians and semi-official thieves who seem to exist throughout the Kingdom?

Should Spain not be making much more of an effort for them to stay? Should not those responsible for the Kingdom be taking things a bit more seriously?

Read what some of them have said about this issue…

Elena Salgado, Zapatero’s former socialist Economy Minister, speaking in February last year about the fact that unemployment figures weren’t going to improve at all during the first quarter of the year, said:

Regarding the option of Spaniards leaving Spain to look for a job, she said that it was “completely natural”, especially for young people. “I myself have a daughter who is a lawyer and she works in Holland”, said Salgado, who said that the lesson from all of this should be that “the most qualified people have more opportunities both inside Spain and abroad”.

Just like that, with no sign of embarrassment, despite being the Kingdom’s Economy Minister. She didn’t resign and neither did anyone make anything of it.

José Ignacio Wert, the Education, Culture and Sports Minister in Rajoy’s new conservative government,replied thusly to a question on whether or not he was worried about so many Spanish researchers leaving for foreign parts:

For the Education Minister, José Ignacio Wert, the fact that Spanish researchers have to leave the country to work is not “negative”. In fact, in his opinion, if they later have enough money to make the trip back, “it’s one of the best things” they can do to improve their scientific careers.

Just like that, with no sign of embarrassment at all.

Even the King of Spain has been reduced to wishing his young subjects well on their trips abroad and hoping that they will one day return.

At the same event in which the chairman of La Caixa highlighted how: “promoting education and research is the best guarantee of development” and that: “well educated, free young people make for a building a better future”,  the King could only express: “his wishes that when they returned from their post-graduate studies abroad «there might be more jobs for them»

Is this situation—and the fact that those responsible for the Spanish state have been reduced to wishing Spain’s 300,000 new economic exiles well on their trips abroad—not a national emergency, and a national disgrace?