Germany needs more immigrants

20th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 October 2004 , BERLIN – Just months after Germany's leading political parties finally agreed to a landmark immigration law, a government commission said this week that Europe's biggest economy needs 25,000 highly qualified immigrants next year to help fill gaps in the country's labour market.

20 October 2004

BERLIN – Just months after Germany's leading political parties finally agreed to a landmark immigration law, a government commission said this week that Europe's biggest economy needs 25,000 highly qualified immigrants next year to help fill gaps in the country's labour market.

Signs of labour shortages in Germany come despite high unemployment in the nation which has left the jobless rate stuck at above 10 percent and makes calls for increased immigration a very sensitive political issue.

But the head of the commission, Rita Suessmuth, said Germany needed to allow "limited and well-targeted immigration" as a way of preventing the emergence of bottlenecks in the nation's labour market.

In particular, the commission argued that additional workers were needed for Germany's health service, mechanical engineering as well as for the insurance and the banking sectors.

However the commission's call met with a rather lukewarm response from Germany's political leaders with members of the opposition Christian Democrats saying that the report offered no new ideas on how to integrate foreigners already living in the country.

There are currently more than seven million foreigners living in Germany, which has a population of more than 80 million.

But with the nation facing a falling birth rate, economists argue that Germany needs immigrants to help finance its extensive welfare state.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: German news

 

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