Calling Germany home: The Local's special immigration series
Immigration has been one of the most fiercely discussed issues of the past year since former central banker Thilo Sarrazin sparked a bitter debate about Muslim integration.
After Sarrazin published his book, “Abolishing Germany - How we’re putting our country at jeopardy,” everybody had something to say about immigration. Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that multiculturalism had “failed utterly” and Christian Social Union leader Horst Seehofer raised the possibility of ending Muslim immigration altogether.
But other voices, including within Merkel and Seehofer's centre-right coalition, pointed out that Germany's future prosperity hinges on attracting foreign workers.
The Local’s special series examined the issues in depth.
Our series kicked off with a report from the streets of one of Germany's immigration flashpoints, the Berlin district of Neukölln. Residents admit there are problems, but argue that a lot of positive work towards integration had been overlooked by Sarrazin and his supporters.
Most experts agree that education is the key to integration. Get children from immigrant families equipped with strong language skills from an early age, and you’ll solve half the problem. How is Germany’s education system performing?
Like it or not, Germany needs immigration, most commentators agree. With its long-term demographic decline, Europe’s biggest economy needs skilled workers if it is going to keep its status as an export powerhouse. As experts tell The Local, more needs to be done to lure foreign talent.