– German population set to soar by 2.2m as immigrants flee southern Europe (Telegraph, Dec 14, 2012):
The German population could jump by 2.2 million people by 2017 as people make the trek from the south to Europe’s post powerful economy, researchers at the Kiel Economics have concluded.
The researchers studied net migration to Germany over 50 years, and predicted that as euro-zone countries battle with their economic woes the relative strength and low unemployment rates of Germany will become an attractive lure.
Germany is already a popular destination for young and skilled Greeks, Spaniard and Portuguese, who have grown disheartened with the high unemployment rates and struggling economies that have become hallmarks of their homelands.
The Spanish unemployment rate has hit 24 per cent, and for the under 25s it has reached 54 per cent. In contrast German unemployment stands at 6.9 per cent, and the country has experienced shortages of skilled labour.
Figures for 2012 reveal that increasing numbers of southern European migrants are already on the way, helping to hike up Germany’s population by 389,000 people. Researchers estimate that in 2014 alone some 506,000 new immigrants will enter the country.
Federal statistics also show that for the first half of 2012 immigration to Germany increased by 35 per cent in comparison to the same period last year.
“The main reason is for people to come is that unemployment rates in Germany are comparatively low to those in the euro-zone,” said Carsten-Patrick Meier from Kiel Economics. “We expect unemployment to remain high over the next few years. But in Germany it should remain low and where you have low unemployment you have high wage growth.”
While the German government has tried to attract skilled foreigners, trade unions fear that large numbers of unskilled migrants might try to take advantage of the EU’s open labour market and move to Germany. This could, they claim, result in wages falling and a rise in German unemployment