Emigrants blame austerity measures for tough times, but advocates for free enterprise say Europe’s employment regulations are to blame
Santiago Oviedo, a lanky 24-year-old from Madrid, is on track to get his master’s degree in physics this fall. He dreams of becoming a researcher, probing the origins of the universe. But, Oviedo probably will not fulfill his dream at home.
Because of education spending cuts and Spain’s downward economic spiral, Oviedo plans to emigrate to Britain, France, the Netherlands or Germany to get his Ph.D. and work at a company that lets him do research. He’s afraid he may never work or raise a family in Spain.
“I don’t want to go away forever, but looking at the situation how it is now, maybe that will happen,” said Oviedo, who heads to every Madrid anti-austerity protest he can fit in between studying. He blames politicians for immersing Spain in its misery.
Young Spaniards are leaving the country in droves in hopes of a brighter future. Their counterparts in Ireland, Italy and Portugal also seek better jobs in other countries. Many of the emigrants blame austerity measures for crushing their countries’ economies, but advocates for free enterprise say too much regulation has stifled growth throughout Europe.