Wales politics

Plaid in skilled migrants call at European manifesto launch

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Media captionPlaid is calling for doctors and university lecturers from other EU countries to be encouraged to work in Wales

Skilled migrants from other countries should be targeted to move to Wales, said Plaid Cymru as it launched its manifesto for May's European elections.

University lecturers and doctors could be attracted here as part of a "migration policy that meets Welsh needs", said the party.

The manifesto pledges include the creation of 50,000 Welsh jobs and improvement in public transport links.

Recent polls suggest Plaid Cymru could face losing its only European seat.

Launching its manifesto near Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, the party's policy commitments include:

• secure 150,000 Welsh jobs by staying in the EU

• create 50,000 more Welsh jobs through contracts for Welsh companies

• give under-25 year olds a job or training guarantee if they are out of work for more than four months

• fight to make Welsh an official EU language

• improve rail and road transport links across Wales

Plaid's sole MEP Jill Evans said the party is the only one "standing up for the Welsh national interest."

Ms Evans, Wales' longest serving member of the European Parliament, said the UK parties would cost Wales jobs through cutting money and investment to the country.

She said: "The people of Wales are our priority. We are answerable only to them.

"There is a huge amount at stake here. 150,000 Welsh jobs depend upon trade with the European Union. We get funding for investment, training and education, and to improve our infrastructure.

"If, like us, you put the people of Wales first, then you must vote for Plaid Cymru - the Party of Wales at this European election."

Ms Evans came third at the last elections in 2009, behind the Conservatives and Labour, with the fourth seat going to UKIP.

Last week, a YouGov opinion poll for Cardiff and Edinburgh universities suggests Ms Evans is in danger of losing her seat in May's vote.

Party sources at the launch said the party is concentrating on getting its core supporters out to vote.

Leader Leanne Wood has previously told BBC Wales low turnout will challenge Plaid Cymru's efforts to keep its seat.

Joining the manifesto launch on Monday, Ms Wood continued the attack she made in speech at the party's spring conference by saying "ideology on the right of politics is directly threatening Wales' interests."

She said: "All UK based parties have used rhetoric on migration and Euro-scepticism to get easy votes in this election.

"To all those who want to distance themselves from such rhetoric; to those who want to put international cooperation on regulating bankers, clamping down on tax avoidance, climate change and peace at the heart of European politics, and in particular to those who want to stop the far right gaining ground in Wales: I'd ask you all to back Plaid Cymru."

A list of all candidates and parties standing in the European Parliament elections on Thursday 22, May, is available here.

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