Los pequeños líderes de la UE

Aparentemente, la derrota del Tratado Constitucional de la UE en los referendos de Francia y Holanda ha dado origen a un nuevo consenso en el sentido de que sería necesario retardar, o incluso detener, una mayor ampliación. Quienes sostienen esta opinión consideran que los votantes de la UE se sienten presa del pánico por las consecuencias de la ampliación de mayo de 2004, cuando se unieron ocho ex estados comunistas, e irritados porque no se les consultó sobre ella.

Una serie de temores afecta al mercado laboral, la así llamada cuestión del "plomero polaco". Desde este punto de vista, debido a la entrada de personas de origen centroeuropeo cuya mano de obra es poco costosa y de baja calidad, los salarios se han ido reduciendo y se han perdido empleos. Se debatieron ampliamente casos particulares como evidencia de esta nueva amenaza, tales como la eliminación de los empleos en la industria del procesamiento y el embalaje de la carne en Alemania, o los trabajadores informales en Francia.

Sin embargo, el "plomero polaco" es en realidad una mala versión del tío del saco. En primer lugar, ya había ocurrido un flujo sustancial de trabajadores antes de la ampliación. Los polacos habían trabajado en algunos empleos agrícolas (en las cosechas de remolacha y uvas) ya durante la era comunista. Con la caída de la Cortina de Hierro en 1989, los flujos laborales, tanto legales como ilegales, se volvieron mucho mayores.

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