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CRISIS/ The return to Paraguay from Spain

In a strange twist, the immigrants from Paraguay to Spain are now returning home because of the high unemployment in Spain, with consequences for both of the countries involved.

(Infophoto) (Infophoto)

The power of globalization and its consequences (in this case negative) is very clear. The crisis that is hitting Spain is claiming “victims” on the South American continent as well. There are many immigrants from Latin America who, in recent months, have decided to return to their home countries. From this point of view, it is interesting to analyze the position of Paraguay, which has always maintained a collaborative relationship with the “mother country”, as those of Asunción call Spain. The reasons are obviously historical, with the Iberian state that had colonized their territory for more than 200 years, but then granted them independence in 1811 without bloodshed. Thus, there is respect for the royal household, as well as an economic interest and historic family ties from unions made during the colonial period.

The second poorest country (after Haiti) in the Americas, Paraguay has always had high emigration, mainly to three countries: Spain (with about 58% of the remittances), the neighboring Argentina and the United States. They found a place for their European dream in Spain, facilitated by the fact that they speak the same language and also share cultural characteristics as workers, whether in the field of care, in catering, in home care or as general laborers. The same is presumably true for other South Americans and Africans (mostly Moroccans) who have been accepted by Spain. In recent weeks, facing the crisis and growing unemployment, the Paraguayan Embassy in Spain acted (also by earmarking funds) to facilitate the exit of their citizens who, without work and, perhaps, without prospects in the near future, decide to return home where many still have family. The problem, however, is that the emigrants' remittances from abroad represent a relevant component of the Paraguayan Gross Domestic Product, after the export of soybeans (especially to Brazil) and meat (to Argentina and Uruguay). A further depletion of the state led by Federico Franco is therefore conceivable.

It is certainly not good news for a country that already has many problems to be addressed, first of all, the great social difference between those who live well and those who live by their wits. Neither is it good news for Spain, which is witnessing, helplessly, the exit of an important workforce with its inevitable social impact, since immigrants are willing to provide a service often snubbed by the locals. This too is globalization, for better or for worse. Globalization, as Baumann writes, divides as much as it unites. The causes of division are the same as those that promote the uniformity of the globe.

(translation by Maria Bond)

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