European elections: From a jobless perspective in #Seville

In a two week trip, the BBC's Patrick Jackson travels to Spain, France, Italy and Greece visiting Europe's unemployment "black spots" to talk to people about the forthcoming European elections.

First stop, Seville, in the Spanish region of Andalucia where general unemployment reached 36.3% last year and youth unemployment 66.1%.

There, thanks to a generous local couple who lend their house for the occasion, he chairs a Twitter chat and an informal debate with five unemployed Seville residents. Here are the highlights, and to find out more read Patrick's blog on Tumblr.

We were guests of a couple who both have good jobs… but just care about their friends when they're going through hard times, so they lent us their house and their hospitality.

BBC's Patrick Jackson in Seville

Patrick (above) plays host to a variety of people living in Seville. First to ring the door bell is 52-year-old Jorge (below). He has a fine arts degree and worked for 20 years as a curator before finding himself out of work.

52-year-old Jorge, who has a fine arts degree and worked for 20 years as a curator.

Next up is Andres, who is 32 and from Seville. He is an architect but currently cannot find work.

Andres, 32, from Seville, unemployed architect

Alicia, is Jorge's daughter and joins in the debate. She is 19 and will be shortly going to university.

19-year-old university student Alicia

Then along comes 42-year-old Luz. She worked as a shop assistant before she lost her job. Employed for 17 years by a fashion chain, she is not entitled to unemployment benefit because her recent jobs were all traineeships.

Luz, 42, worked as a shop assistant before she lost her job

And finally Tono, 48, from Galicia, living near Seville, who says he is struggling to make a living.

Tono, 48, from Galicia, living near Seville, is struggling to make a living.
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The debate begins

As everyone gathers round the table Patrick starts tweeting and asks his guests for their opinion.

Tweet one: First question here in Seville: what does the EU mean to you?

Andres: Just another government.

Alicia: Right now, it's just the north of Europe and Spain is left out of it.

Jorge: It's a necessary broken dream. Europe used to be a very important factor for the development of Spain but now it looks like our worst enemy.

Luz: As a country, Spain was not ready to join the European club so we could never maximise the benefits of membership.

Tono: They could have corrected our economic activity back then instead of waiting until it was too late.

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Matthew Bennett, from Murcia, in Spain, joins in the conversation

Matthew Bennett tweets: How many of their mates are actually working somewhere in the underground economy?

Andres: It would be better to ask, how many of our friends are actually working in the real economy.

Alicia: I am working in the black economy, giving English tuition. It's the only way many people can afford private classes for their kids.

Jorge: From time to time, I work as a cultural guide - I don't get a salary out if it, it's just occasional.

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Patrick asks a hard question

Patrick tweets: So why do people in Andalusia keep electing Socialists?

Tono: As a Galician [conservative part of northern Spain], I can say Andalusia was always very deprived. EU aid was more visible here...

Alicia: People vote Socialist here because we have a very strong sense of community.

Luz: People here vote Socialist out of resignation because the real left gets a bad press.

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George Charalampidis, from Greece has a couple of questions of his own.

 George Charalampidis, from Greece, tweets: 2Qs: Do they think Europe should advance to a political Union? Would they be in favour of returning to national currency?

Luz: Spain should go back to the peseta because it cannot handle a strong currency.

Jorge: We should go back to the idea of a Europe of the peoples instead of Europe as an economic project.

Andres: The currency issue is just the tip of the iceberg. It doesn't matter what coin you have, if none is coming into the house.

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Bridget Mellor, from England wants to know ...

Bridget Mellor tweets: Have they considered leaving their homeland for work

Jorge: All of us are thinking about it but where would we go?

Tono: We all have relatives who have left. Some are the children of emigrants who had returned to Spain.

Andres: My brother has already gone to England. I spent time in rural Spain helping people to renovate their houses.

Luz: My parents emigrated to Switzerland and my mother regrets coming back to Spain. She thinks we would have had a better future there.

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And so the night draws to a close ...

Patrick's last tweet of the night: That's it from Seville. Hope you got some insights into how unemployed people here see the crisis and the politicians
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There will be more from Patrick as he continues his trip to Europe's "unemployment hotspots" to find out what the jobless think of the European elections and whether their own situation has put them off politics altogether. Don't forget you too can join in.

Do you live in Spain, France, Italy or Greece? Are you unemployed? Will you be voting in the upcoming elections? If you are willing to speak to the BBC email your views to haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk using the subject title 'EU unemployment'.

Or get in touch using the form below.

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

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