Government campaign gives facelift to Romanian community in Spain

Newsroom 03/11/2008 | 16:58

Research has found that the only viable solution to Romanians' image problem in Spain is reciprocal knowledge. The slogan of the communication campaign is “Hola, soy Rumano.” The conclusions of sociological studies showed the Spanish people have become more intolerant towards foreigners due to crime. The same studies indicated that negative perception of Romanians is a result of the media discourse and that interaction between Romanians and Spanish results in a more positive perception. There are more than 700,000 Romanians officially registered in Spain, most of them working in construction, agriculture and tourism, having successfully integrated into Spanish society.
This is the first initiative of this kind implemented by a foreign government in Spain, according to Francisco Zapater, the head of the office for foreigners. “Spanish people know about this campaign because it was advertised on TV. However, I personally think it is not necessary since I believe this will not change Romanians' image. Everything depends on the everyday behavior of Romanians who live here. I do not believe in advertising at this level,” said Zapater. However, Carmen Amoros, Castellon deputy mayor for social problems, finds the campaign beneficial. “I think everything necessary should be done to make possible cohabitation between Romanians and Spanish people. Here in Castellon there are more than 50,000 Romanians. At the moment, the Romanians' image in Castellon is good, we are no longer talking about integration but about living together,” said Amoros. She added that potential tension may arise due to the financial crisis affecting Spain, where the current unemployment rate is 11.73 percent. “I know that Romania needs workforce. The moment was very well chosen to implement this campaign since here in Spain we are going through a difficult period and when a crisis appears generally problems follow.” Amoros said at the moment people are being laid off, both Romanian and Spanish. “I do not think it would be a good idea for more Romanians to come here since they will not find any more jobs,” she said.
Otilia Haraga

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