European Economy

Spain's Brain Drain Is a Eurozone Problem

Spain's best workers are leaving, undermining the euro and Spain's economic chances.

Yes, growth is up. But your young people are still leaving.

Photograph: GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images

Even if it manages to pacify Catalonia's separatists, Spain's government faces a more insidious kind of separatism that diminishes the country's economic strength and potential for growth. Young Spanish engineers, and other professionals, are increasingly leaving home to find jobs elsewhere. Who can blame them when starting wages offered in Bavaria are twice as high as what they can earn in Spanish industry? They are part of a new kind of emigration -- that of educated and skilled workers moving from Europe's periphery to its core. The implications of this migration for the Spanish economy, and the euro zone, shouldn't be underestimated.

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