A Spanish pensioner has placed a newspaper advertisement offering 5,000 euros ($5,600) to any employer who would hire his 39-year-old son, a “desperate” unemployed father of one.
“Pensioner offers 5,000 euros to company who hires his unemployed son, qualified, responsible and hard-working with good references, pay negotiable according to contract, absolute discretion,” the advertisement in El Heraldo de Aragon newspaper said.
Concerns about Spanish unemployment, the second-highest in Europe at 22.4 percent, are at the centre of the campaign for a general election to be held in December.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, ahead in polls but expected to fall short of a majority, is seeking to overcome scepticism that an economic recovery is truly filtering down.
The pensioner, a retired lawyer, told the newspaper he could not watch his son suffer without doing anything.
“The advert might look undignified, but I lost my sense of shame a long time ago,” said the pensioner, who did not want to give his name. His son has been unemployed for several months.
Many families are like his – they have ridden out a six-year economic crisis thanks to the pensions of older members.
Spanish pensions rose 8.3 percent between 2008 and 2012, government statistics show. By contrast, incomes of people aged 30 to 44 –the biggest group in the working-age population– fell 2.8 percent as millions lost their jobs or took wage cuts.
“In the newspaper classified section, Mariano Rajoy’s recovery,” Pablo Echenique, a leading member of the anti-austerity party Podemos, said in a message on Twitter accompanying a photo of the ad.
The pensioner, who could not immediately be reached for comment, told the newspaper that he had got around 20 calls, and most had not mentioned the money he offered. ($1 = 0.8982 euros)