The Economist this week (Sprechen Sie Jobs?) devoted a whole article to the fact that the European Union's goal of economic mobility across borders (being able to move from a high-unemployment country to a high-employment country) is still hampered by language more than anything else. Big companies use English across the board, but small and medium sized companies use their native language, and therefore hire in their native language. Greeks and Spaniards willing to learn a little of (say) German, will have the benefit of being able to find work there, whilst their counterparts who stay home will stay unemployed.
It reminds me of when I was searching for a first summer job during college/university. I landed an internship with Mars (confectionary, not green men) in France. Even though it is an American company, French was the language used in the office, for obvious reasons. I spoke French (just enough) so I could get by. Not to mention benefit from all that lovely chocolate!