Germany must say yes to more immigrants

The Local de Germany must say yes to more immigrants

The Local, Germany, 26 Nov 2013

The biggest threat to Europe’s top economy is not foreign competition but its low birth rate. It must open its borders to more immigrants, skilled and unskilled, says The Local's editor Tom Bristow.

Germany has a problem with immigration - it needs it, perhaps more than any other European country, but it does not really want it.

In July the government made it easier for people from outside the European Union to come to Germany to work - in particular sectors with labour shortages. But it was not a vote-winner - and was undertaken carefully and without great fanfare.

The Bertelsmann Foundation think-tank said its research suggested two-thirds of Germans think immigrants cause problems for schools and social services. And mayors from across Germany warned this week about the pressures that people from Romania and Bulgaria were putting on local services, with more due next year when European Union travel restrictions affecting those countries are lifted.

Attitudes towards immigrants among Germans will take decades to change, but once a stable government is formed, ministers will be in a strong position to pay less attention to what is wanted [by German citizens] and more to what is needed.

The country’s birth rate of 1.4 per couple has been falling for decades and no matter how generous child benefit is, the government can do little to increase the number of children being born.

A birth rate of 2.1 is needed to keep a population stable, while a report from Germany's National Statistics Office warned: "A low birth rate causes the number of potential mothers to become smaller and smaller. Even today the cohorts of new-born girls are numerically smaller than those of their mothers."

Germany’s population is steady at the moment, but ageing fast, storing up huge problems for the younger generation.

Without more immigration experts believe that by 2050 the population could shrink by around 16 percent to about 69 million. Standing at nearly 82 million now, losing 13 million people will leave swathes of the country deserted and bring the continent’s biggest economy to its knees.

It would be the equivalent of completely emptying the country’s 14 biggest cities.

Immigrants keen, despite cold welcome

The sight of tourists taking photos of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate over the heads of people from Africa and Asia who were on hunger strike this October in protest at the conditions they were kept in, highlighted the problems Germany faces.

One of those protesting then, Ghlam Vali, 37, told The Local: “We should be free to travel anywhere we want, live anywhere we want, have education and learn the language. [Who's stopping them from learning German?]

"When an educated society, a democratic country has this kind of behaviour, keeping refugees and non-citizens like prisoners, it is not understandable. Give us [refugees] a chance to play a positive role in society, that's what we want."

People arriving in German cities from outside the European Union have taken to living in squats and tents, while going on hunger strike to highlight what they say are inhumane housing conditions and work bans. That is no model for a successful integration policy.

Yet Germany remains a magnet for immigrants, despite struggling to integrate those born here to foreign parents, let alone new arrivals.

Government policy has traditionally excluded those who do not have German blood. Turkish people born in the country are unable to apply for dual citizenship to both Turkey and Germany [because German citizens are not permitted to have extra citizenships].

It was only under Merkel’s predecessor Gerhard Schröder that a law from 1913 was changed to allow immigrants to apply for German nationality. Before, German citizenship was dependent on blood [and yet Kikes had German citizenship].

But Germany may be saved by the sheer desire of people to work and live here. In the first half of this year, before immigration laws were slightly eased, 555,000 people came to Germany, increasing immigration by 11 percent over the same period for 2012.

Reuters reported that the rise was fuelled by Italian and Spanish jobseekers looking for work following the collapse of their home job markets.

German laws are designed to encourage more skilled immigrants to come - and this would seem to be working. In May, a study for the Bertelsmann Foundation found nearly half of all immigrants arriving in Germany had a professional qualification in a trade - something only 26 percent of Germans have.

But if the strong vocational training of its youth is one of the ingredients of Germany's economic success, what happens when there is a smaller pool of young people to train?

Germany cannot restrict immigration to skilled workers from the EU - in order to maintain its population, it will have to open itself up to more immigrants from outside the European Union and help them learn what they will need to build lives here.

Needs must outweigh wants. For the sake of their own futures, Germans must realize immigrants are not a drag on society - they are its only hope of a prosperous future.


Lance Waterman: Absolute rubbish, Personal opinions like this are the hallmark of tabloid press. The reason the birthrate is low is economics. Tax breaks are the incentive needed IF a growing population is the goal but who say it is? The last thing this world needs is more people.

Wahrsager to Lance Waterman: You are so correct. Controlled and qualified immigration is one thing, but freely letting criminals into society does not help! Has no one in society learned that with new technologies, many jobs in society are no longer needed. You do not need an increase in population, you actually need a decrease if you want society to maintain what it has.

bushdiver to Wahrsager: f that was totally true you had better get some friends together and start rebuilding the wall as quickly as possible. Crime has surged in W. Germany since the fall of the wall.

James to Lance Waterman: You are correct. I cant believe someone actually wrote this trash and it is not in The Sun.

derExDeutsche to James: Welcome to Last one out, turn off the lights.

kentchap to derExDeutsche: If you don't like it, you know what to do, matey. Told you before.

waileng p to Lance Waterman: U are absolutely right. Look at the Africa continent, it surely does not have a low birth rate problem, is it prospering. The planet is at its limit, the world population has to go down!

Matt to waileng p: It actually is. Birth rates across the globe are dropping, and dropping in places that might surprise you. The world is actually on the verge of a "graying crisis."

bwjijsdtd to Lance Waterman: So go get a rope and give us some relief.

The Gorn: If jobs pay a fair wage there is no trouble filling them. What companies want is an influx of cheap labor so they can pay nothing and make insane profits.

daviecrockett: Tom Bristow is a nut, pity he works for The Local. At the beginning of the 19th Century the population of Planet Earth was less than One Billion, today it is nearly Eight Billion and climbing. With its declining population, Germany is setting a good example which the rest of the world must follow if we are all to survive. If anybody wants to know what happens to populations which expand beyond their natural resources read who demonstrated that "when all available space is taken and all social roles filled, competition and the stresses experienced by the individuals will result in a total breakdown in complex social behaviors, ultimately resulting in the demise of the population."

chrysostomos to daviecrockett: All that I have to say to that is Viva la Muerte.

derExDeutsche: Definitely. Germany needs more Government control more taxes and certainly, more immigrants.

civil disobedient: Germany needs immigrants who WANT to become German and Germans need to WANT the Immigrants to become German and treat them as such (total integration). Also, Germany needs QUALITY immigrants with education and skills. Not people to come in to live in "little motherland" and say GERMONEY!

eristiclogos civil disobedient: Germoney. Indeed, I have seen the problems these non-Westerners who refuse to integrate are causing. Their attitude seems to be "Germoney or your life."

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derExDeutsche to kentchap: Which is why the Greens and die Linke Political MOney Grabbers, love these types of immigrants so much. More votes for them. More fodder, with permanent social 'Victims', to use against the German people who never wanted another Communist revolution in Germany. Open up the borders to those who would like to vote themselves your money. Enjoy Germans! And the programs you think you're saving with immigration? There will never be enough immigrants to save them. But I guess that's the point, isn't it.

JB123: Given the economics Germany definitely needs immigration. In particular with the pay-in, pay-out pension system here and the rapidly aging population there won't be enough workers to support the social system. Its all about math. Calculate it before screaming about those pesky immigrants. Big changes are coming whether Germans like it or not. Either the borders open and people work or a huge portion of the population is looking at a destitute retirement. What Germany needs is skilled workers - there are somewhere around a million open positions right now. But the country can't get people to come here. I am one of those skilled workers, lots of education, several languages, plus 15 years international experience. Bonus? I'm white skinned, blond haired and have blue eyes. I have never taken any money from the German government and never will. I am leaving and won't be back. But there's the problem Germans simply don't get. Word is out about what its like to live and work here and that's why Germany can't get skilled labor despite high unemployment elsewhere. The education system here can't produce enough Germans to fill those positions. It's not a roma problem. Its a German problem. Bottom line in the long run Germans are simply going to marginalize themselves - again.

derExDeutsche to JB123: 'pay-in, pay-out pension system' a failing system is not an excuse to throw the baby out with the bath water. do the math, even with the influx of immigrants, its only a temporary fix. The whole system is collapsing, eventually, there will never be enough people,

JB123 to derExDeutsche: The solution will depend on how strongly Germans want to maintain their standard of living. Either Germany will have workers to pay for the social system in the future or it will not.

Naman Sharma: not Germany but whole of the Europe should control the influx of immigrants there are already too many of them.

kentchap to Naman Sharma: As you wish. Time to pack your bags.

Naman Sharma to kentchap: i don't live in europe.

kentchap to Naman Sharma: Oh, you just wish Europe well.

Naman Sharma to kentchap: yeah, it's just me .

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kentchap to WardLansen: There's a bunch of Swedish pros (or "escorts", if you wish to call them that) in Berlin. Where do they stand from your point of view? Do they bring money in or should they be given the boot up the booty back to where they came from?

WardLansen to kentchap: Just send them back as long as they dont pay more then avarage in taxes. But (real) Swedes are usually not the problem. They are EU citizens and often very decent, modern and educated people. Especially compared to muslims, Africans and other 3rd world people with clanmentalities, a medieval agressive religion and backward culture.

kentchap to WardLansen: They are real Swedes, fair skinned and light coloured eyes and all that jazz that you probably are very keen on. As for sending them back, it's up to the aboriginals' authorities to say whether they want them in or not. If you were to ask me, I'd say let them stay, no matter whether they're blond, blue eyed "aryans", Muslim or Africans. I have other things to worry about in life. How about you?

Raandy: Opening the borders will help alleviate the low birth, and after the success of the "Guest Workers" everything will only get ?????.

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Mohammad Sharif Hossain to Peter35: try to wide ur mind

Tonyo: So far 13/64 comments from this guy "kentchap", he probably working for thelocal. Hey thelocal, where are the rest of my comments?

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kentchap to Tonyo: It doesn't cos they haven't really tried. Not surprising: Germans born of Turkish parents that can speak the lingo and have lived all their lives in the country are largely regarded as foreigners, yet Russians that can't speak a word of German are welcomed with open arms for having "German blood" (whatever that is!). The leap from the age of cave dwellers into civilisation has yet to happen in the Fatherland. Never mind the facade of modernity they try to sell to gullible people abroad, economic development and high standard of living is no substitute for respect for human rights, humanitarian values and tolerance, which are the cornerstones of a civilised society.

kentchap to Tonyo: Are you talking about the Germans? They are the ones supposed to try from reading your intervention. If you want to post a reply free from inconsistencies, it helps reading carefully a post before jumping to the keyboard.

Guest to Tonyo: It's not going very well, cos they haven't really tried with them. The fact that they consider Germans born of Turkish parents, who can speak the language well and integrated, foreigners yet they welcome with open hands Russians that can't speak a word of German as people of German blood (whatever that is!) says it all. The leap from the age of cave dwellers into modernity has yet to happen in the Fatherland, don't get distracted by the facade of modernity they try to sell to gullible people abroad.

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Guest to chrysostomos: Oh, you mean like your golden showers, or dawn or whatever does it for you, Greeks?

PANAN 64: HAVE enough LAZY unskilled people living in other people's money. What they lack is skilled, which they should look into.

chrysostomos: So much for freedom of speech.

blahblahblah: Welcome immigrants! And for us - welcome to the best quality services where immigrants involved and welcome to the reducing crime in Germany!

basu: Regardless of immigration , Germany is facing the same problem as Japan--an ever increasing aging population (who are retired or heading towards retirement ) and a declining working population.If birth rate does not increase, then the current German working population already face a future of higher taxes and less savings . As for immigration, even Germans go and live in China, India ,Asia for economic opportunities and vice versa--in a globalised world you cannot stop it. Even some US/UK schools teach Mandarin to students as the world is changing. The only truth is that if you are young and have skills in demand( especially in research and engineering ) you have the luxury of choosing any country in the world to live in let alone Germany.

Tonyo to basu: Please don't compare Japan to these feeble western countries, the Japanese know how to keep their culture and values intact...

derExDeutsche to basu: Is Japan solving the problem by importing a bunch of immigrants???

Tonyo to derExDeutsche: No, they creating robots and having guest workers from Vietnam and China instead...only guest workers, when the jobs done the guests go home!

basu to derExDeutsche: no Japan and Germany are in the same boat with the same issues...don't u know? Its not just immigration ..its a whole lot of demographic issues

derExDeutsche to basu: They just need some more Turks. SO qualified they are. Just look how much good they were doing in their own countries, previously. lol. They need to import that. Obviously, the Turks will be building Sony and Nintendo better than the Japanese in no time! Nice solution.

kentchap to derExDeutsche: No, they need to import some smug, self sufficient, topfwurst munching, foreigner hating, sock in sandals clad and thick as s&!t idiotic Ossis like yourself that haven't got anything to claim for personal achievement apart from some primitive sense of belonging to a self proclaimed master race.

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