• Germany's news in English

Spaniards stranded in fake German job scandal

The Local · 11 Oct 2013, 07:20

Published: 11 Oct 2013 07:20 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Some of the 128 Spaniards who signed up for the promising deal have been waiting in vain in the city of Erfurt in the region of Thuringia for over a month now.

German intermediary company Sphinx Consulting recruited them in their Madrid offices, assuring them they would be able to begin their work training in Germany as soon as they landed.

But upon their arrival they were faced with a dire situation.

Their work contracts had not been finalized, their accommodation was run down and there was no sign of the German classes starting anytime soon.

"It's not that we’re dying of hunger," 20-year-old Sara told Spanish newspaper El País. "They just haven’t kept a single one of their promises."

Many of the budding employees have moved out of the dingy halls of residence they were placed in and into cleaner, more spacious accommodation.

None of them have been reimbursed yet for the flight or money they had to pay in advance for the German classes, both sums that should have been covered by the EU-funded scheme.

There is no sign of them being paid the €818 monthly salary they were promised either.

Kerstin Schmidt, the person in charge of the German branch of Sphinx Consulting SL, denies any wrongdoing.

She told El País she hadn't been negligent and claimed that the Spanish jobseekers "had been given false expectations".

Schmidt, who received a commission for every job contract awarded, claimed that for those people who didn't have work it "was because they hadn't stuck to the accommodation and training they had originally been assigned".

On Wednesday, representatives of the Thüringen Chamber of Commerce and local unions met in what newspaper the Thüringer Allgemeine called a crisis summit.

The plan is to find jobs or apprenticeships for the 90 young Spaniards left stranded by Sphinx Consulting SL, a company which may soon be embroiled in legal action against them.

"We have to help these young people as quickly as possible," said Matthias Machnig, Thüringen's economy minister.

"Some of them are only 18-years-olds and this is their first time in Germany.

“We have a moral duty,” said Machnig.

“We are in constant contact with the people (Spaniards) and also with employers,” said Andreas Knuhr with the regional development body the Welcome Centre, the Thüringer Allgemeine reported.

Around 80 of the Spaniards could find work in the hospitality industry said another local union representative.

The move comes after a Thüringer Allgemeine report on Tuesday on the plight of the young Spaniards.

The latest from Spanish news agency EFE is that 37 of the affected have signed up for internships.

Story continues below…

READ MORE: Thousands from US and UK on German benefits

Alex Dunham

Follow us on Twitter @thelocalgermany

Like The Local Germany on Facebook

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd