Update 24 June: One does wonder, sometimes, what the President of the Canaries is actually thinking. Sometimes, however, it’s all too clear. Thanks to his personal blog, and the comments of the Canarian Government’s officer for development of autonomy Fernando Ríos, it is now evident that the ruling nationalist party not only wants to restrict employment opportunities to “residents” (still to be defined, as I say below), but that they have illusions of scaling one of the sacred edifices of European immigration policy: free movement of peoples within the EU. “The Canaries are full” is the message, and the islands’ RUP (ultraperipheral) status allows it. The EU seems to be in sympathy. I will be speaking to Clio O’Flynn on Radio Sur Adeje’s English Time about this issue at lunchtime today. Listen in.
Update 9 March 2013: President Rivero has called on businesses to “employ residents”, as the crisis deepens. He reproached businesses for contracting employees “from abroad”. Now hang on a minute, Mr President. There are plenty of “residents” here who originated “abroad”. If you intend to say “only employ Canarians and let foreigners go hang”, please have the goodness to say it straight.
Original post 8 July 2012: The EU has ruled that the Canarian Government may give priority to Canarian resident workers without it being considered discriminatory. The minister for Economía, Hacienda y Seguridad, Javier González Ortiz, has said the decision is “very positive” and that the high rate of unemployment in the islands is not just a consequence of the loss of jobs, but of the large number of foreign workers seeking employment here.
Sr González Ortiz added that the weakness of the local job market and the high impact of the economic crisis here were aspects of the case that the EU took on board when deciding that the Canarian Government’s priority of local workers did not breach EU treatises. This consideration has also been incorporated into the recent EU report on the new strategy for ultraperipheral regions for 2014-2020.