THE Spanish authorities love statistics; you get the impression that every government department employs a small army of people who just analyse figures and later write detailed reports on how many people eat ice-cream during the summer and what age group they are and what they do for a living! However, I was rather amazed the other day to see that the unemployment figures had been broken down into Spanish, non-Spanish Europeans and people from outside the European Union. Why? At the end of the day the 70'000 people who are at present without a job have all paid their dues and this is why they can claim unemployment benefit. So in other words all three groups are entitled to their benefit. The figures said that just over a third of all those without a job are non-Spanish. What worries me is that as times get tough and the dole queues continue to rise the fact that a sizeable number of foreigners are claiming unemployment benefit could cause friction with the Spanish community. I have said it before without the foreign workforce (which numbers in excess of 100'000) Majorca would have a big survival problem. Foreign workers were obviously needed during the boom days and the fact some are unemployed now is not really an issue.
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