Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Silent farewells

A fair and efficient intra-EU job market is not just an economic and legal question.

Above all, it is about providing those who, by choice or circumstance, set up residence in several European countries with the possibility to live a life worth living.

We are again missing the numbers.

How many people fail when trying to work in another European country? How often do they shift employer? How many give up and leave tired of being second-class citizens? What is the percentage of EU nationals in redundancies compared to their original weight in the company's workforce?

And what is the divorce rate among mixed intra-EU marriages? How many intra-EU immigrants suffer from depression, social isolation, and plain discrimination at work? How many negative references about them are released daily in the media?

How is it that no NGO ever produces such statistics? What is the EU doing about it?

Like the main character in the final lines of Knut Hamsum's 1890 masterpiece Sult ("Hunger"), how many of us had to leave a place where we tried to be happy, where we gave the most we could, but where in our  farewell, feeling the sarcastic bite of failure seize our silent sorrow, all that was left to us was to stare "at the windows where lights shone so brightly in every home"

For the impatient, there is for once a wonderful film version (1966, by Henning Carlsen).

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