Protesting against precariousness at Puerta del Sol, Madrid, June 2011.
When “milleurista” was coined in 2005 – a term denoting someone living on €1000 per month – it highlighted the plight of young workers with insecure, low-paid jobs. Today, with one out of two young people on the dole, becoming a “milleurista” has become something to aspire to.Excerpts.
Six years ago, in August 2005, a young Catalan woman wrote a letter to this newspaper. It was titled “I am a mileurista”, a term she had come up with herself to describe those who earned around a thousand euros a month. Carolina Alguacil was then 27 years old, and she complained of the dearth of real jobs available to her generation.
“The mileurista is young,” she wrote, “between 25 and 34, with a degree, well-educated, at least bilingual, has postgraduate or masters degrees complemented by professional diplomas. In the labour market three or four years, hopefully half of them paying social security contributions […]. The trouble is that you don’t make more than a thousand euros, without perks, and you had better not complain. You can’t save, you don’t have a home, or a car, or any children. You live for the day. Sometimes it's fun, but it’s getting tiring.”