173641 Social Inequalities of Cross-Border Workers: The Spanish Case

Sunday, October 26, 2008

José Aureliano Martin Segura , Departamento de Organización de Empresas., Universidad de Granada., Ceuta, Spain
José Luis Navarro Espigares, PhD, Prof, Mgr , Economic Department, University Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain
Pedro González de la Flor, MD, PhD , Preventive Medicine Department, University General Hospital of Jaén, Jaén, Spain
The Spanish border with Morocco in the Ceuta and Melilla territories has the greatest economic differential of all borders between countries in the world. The extreme wage inequality creates tremendous pressure on the labor market and situations of social dumping.

The problem of cross-border workers in Ceuta and Melilla is affected by two circumstances: on the one hand, an important differential income ($27,522 versus $4,956); on the other hand, the fact that Morocco does not acknowledge these territories as Spanish. The number of legally recognized cross-border workers amounts to 2,093, but the number of illegal immigrants could triple that figure.

Cross-border workers from Morocco suffer severe inequality in relation to other immigrant workers because of their non-resident status, which prevents them from receiving certain social benefits such as health care for their families or the right to education for their children. From the fiscal perspective, they are subjected to unusually high tax burdens. What is more, they cannot benefit from employment promotion policies undertaken by the Spanish authorities.

Obviously, the border problems can only be definitively resolved by the development of the less prosperous neighbor, so as to reduce the economic differential. Nevertheless, an agreement on cross-border cooperation could provide a provisional solution for inequalities in the treatment of cross-border workers in relation to other foreign workers living in Spain.

Learning Objectives:
Identify the inequal situation of cross-border workers in Spain Describe the main determinant factors of inequalities Define a short-term proposal to reduce inequalities

Keywords: Social Inequalities, Access Immigration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have not any relevant personal financial relationship with a commercial entity that benefits the individual and may ultimately bias the presentation of that content
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.