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Europeans flee crisis by heading to Germany

The Local · 22 Dec 2011, 14:33

Published: 22 Dec 2011 14:33 GMT+01:00

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The eurozone's top economy had a 19 percent rise in new arrivals with 435,000, the federal statistics office said in a statement.

"What is notable here is the strong increase in immigration from EU countries that have been particularly hard hit by the financial and debt crisis," it said.

Eight-four percent more Greeks, or 8,890, moved to Germany in the first half of 2011 than in the same period in 2010 and 49 percent more Spaniards – 7,257.

More recent members of the EU, mainly former communist countries in eastern Europe, also sent about one-third more citizens to live in Germany than a year back, due largely to a relaxation of labour market restrictions.

Other European countries, Asia and the Americas boosted emigration to Germany 11 percent each, while Africa was responsible for a three-percent rise.

With unemployment falling to 6.4 percent in November, its lowest level since reunification more than two decades ago, and around three-percent economic growth, Germany has weathered the eurozone crisis largely unscathed so far.

It is actively recruiting skilled labour abroad to plug gaps in the workforce and offset a steep population decline caused by a low birth rate.

But despite the increase there continues to be widespread concern that not enough is being done to fix the country’s labour shortage as the workforce ages. According to one study earlier this year, there could be 3.5 million unfilled jobs nationwide by 2025.

Story continues below…

A government report this month said Germany still needed to streamline immigration laws and present a friendlier face to the world in order to attract more skilled workers.

The Local/AFP/DPA/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:33 December 23, 2011 by storymann
Germany is fast approaching an immigrant nation status, these figures will become much higher from the debt ridden EU economies as the crisis persist and the austerity measures strip the citizens of their retirements, savings, occupations and unemployment benefits. With little to no hope of improvement in these nations they will most likely remain and raise their children here. Sie sind hier willkommen
16:47 December 23, 2011 by raandy
Germany is concerned about their low birth rate, not to worry you are now the preferred place to relocate in the cozy EU,it should not be considered immigration it is relocation now that the borders are OPEN.
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