The Romanian Odyssey to the West: The Poverty Situation of the Romanian Immigrants in Spain

By Raluca Oana Matu Rancu.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Romanian immigration has lately been a polemical theme in the Spanish media, as Romania joined the European Union in 2007, after many years of struggle and failure. This welcome wasn’t well at all when, once the borders opened, a high number of Romanian immigrants started their odyssey to the West. After a long period of communism and bloodshed for freedom, the democracy Romanians were yearning for was smashed into a corrupted society and a pseudo-democracy that finally concluded with a massive migration to the “first world countries”. The poverty situation and the economic problems they had in their own country made them follow the “European dream” for a better living - main destination: Spain.
The problems arose in Spanish society as soon as their number started to increase too fast and they were willing to work on a half of the wage Spanish workers did. Social problems also appeared when some cases of delinquency and prostitution were related to Romanians, as well as the association of Romanians with gypsies. Moreover, the frustration of the economic crisis that appeared recently sparked off xenophobic attitudes towards immigrants, especially Romanians, as they became the main sending country with the highest number of immigrants in Spain.

Keywords: Immigration, Poverty, Xenophobia

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.465-472. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 594.869KB).

Raluca Oana Matu Rancu

Research Personnel in Training, Doctoral Program in Economics and Business, Business Administration Department, Sociology Area, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain

I am working on my thesis investigation, called “The Poverty Situation of Eastern European Women in Spain: The Romanian Case”, related to poverty and social exclusion of Romanian women in Spain. My thesis tries to explain the context of the situation, the power of media towards the reactions of national citizens, the reasons of their rejection and find solutions in order to change the label and help the integration of Romanian women into Spanish society. While I was a student, I worked for one year as a journalist at the social investigation department of the Romanian newspaper “Renasterea Banateana”. Afterwards, I had a Masters degree in Mediterranean Cultural Studies (UNESCO Chair). I worked in an investigation project in our department named “Poverty, social exclusion and gender inequality in Spain”, financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. I also took part in the European Youth Media Days 2008 at the European Parliament in Brussels, producing a news radio show about the EU immigration policy under the name “Breaking Europe”. I made my stage at the European Center of Migratory Flows Studies (Canary Islands), and I was also the coordinator of their blog “Youth and Immigration”.

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