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CDU minister calls for easier immigration

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CDU minister calls for easier immigration
Photo: DPA
13:50 CEST+02:00
A state interior minister belonging to Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union has defied the chancellor and called on the government to ease immigration restrictions for skilled workers.

"If we want highly-qualified workers to come here from abroad, then we urgently need to improve the conditions for taking up work here," the CDU interior minister for Lower Saxony Uwe Schünemann told the news magazine Der Spiegel recently.

At a recent press conference, Merkel repeated her assertion that she does not want to lower immigration standards, and would rather concentrate on improving education for home-grown talents. But Schünemann says that doesn't change the need for reform in immigration laws.

Schünemann is particularly concerned that the minimum income that foreign workers are expected to be able to earn is too high. Markus Ulbig, the minister of state for the interior in Saxony is equally insistent.

Demographic studies say that by 2020, one third of the Saxony population will be over 65 years old. "From these sober facts one can see there is no way round the immigration of qualified workers," Ulbig said.

President Christian Wulff recently announced that he would address the issues of immigration and integration in his first major speech as German president.

Wulff said his main concern was stopping the trend of highly-qualified Germans leaving the country to work abroad. He added that improving education for the children of immigrant families must also be a priority.

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