10,000 Job Applicants: Portuguese Seek Greener Pastures in German Town

Published on Spiegel Online International, by Maria Huber, March 14, 2012.

A mini job miracle has taken Schwäbisch Hall in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg by surprise. After a Portuguese journalist wrote a rosy report on the town and its efforts to seek skilled workers from crisis-plagued European countries, job applications have flooded in. More than 10,000 people have written in so far, but results have been mixed … //   

… Some Portuguese Even Traveled to Germany To Apply:

About five percent of the mails were written in Portuguese and another nine to 10 percent in English. The rest were in German. Still, not all the applications hold much promise. “Seventy-five percent of the applicants already have jobs in Portugal and we are concentrating on unemployed Portuguese,” explains Rebstock.

A few Portuguese were so excited that they didn’t bother to start with an email, but instead came directly to Rebstock’s doorstep to ask him about work. It actually worked out in some cases and he was able to directly arrange an appointment with an employer. One couple stopped by soon after the article was published. “They both were in Garmisch to ski when they heard about the appeal,” Rebstock says. “They thought that since they were already close by, they would deliver their applications in person.” The two IT specialists already had work in Portugal, but they were still attracted by the idea of a job in Schwäbisch Hall.

Rebstock speaks cautiously of “initial successes.” Two drivers, a painter and two hotel workers have found jobs so far. But as other applications are processed, many people’s hopes will turn to disappointment.

In light of the lack of a major success, the city is downplaying its efforts. “We hadn’t counted on such a huge resonance,” says a spokesperson. “If we were to do it all over again, we would do it in a more coordinated way.”
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Link: Not Out of The Woods Yet: Despite Progress, Euro Crisis Is Far From Over, on Spiegel Online International, an Analysis by Christian Rickens, March 15, 2012.

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