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'Jobless migrants must get German benefits'

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'Jobless migrants must get German benefits'
Photo: DPA
09:49 CET+01:00
UPDATE: The EU Commission believes Germany must make it easier for immigrants to claim unemployment benefit, according to reports on Friday. It comes as a poll shows support for the EU is at a record high in Germany.

An EU Commission statement referring to a lawsuit at the European Court and seen by the Süddeutsche Zeitung states Germany can not deny Hartz IV unemployment benefits to immigrants who come to the country without a job.

The statement was made in the case of a 24-year-old Romanian woman and her son who have lived in Germany since 2010. The woman's local job centre in Leipzig refused to give her Hartz IV and she took the legal action.

It questions whether a regulation in Germany which excludes immigrants from the EU who are not seeking work from claiming the benefit is compatible with EU law.

Later on Friday a spokeswoman for the EU Commission denied it was putting pressure on Germany to handout benefits to unemployed immigrants.

"Allegations that the Commission is urging Germany to grant every unemployed EU citizen in the country welfare are, of course, completely wrong,"

But if the European Court follows the Commission's recommendation, Germany will have to considerably improve access to payments for immigrants, even if they are not actively looking for a job.

The Commission said Germany must judge each claimant on their individual circumstances, Dorothee Frings Professor of Social Law at the Lower Rhine University told the Süddeutsche.

“The right to claim Hartz IV has to be checked even for immigrants who are not actively seeking work,” she said.

Meanwhile a poll for broadcaster ARD on Friday showed two thirds of Germans supported immigration to the country of skilled workers. 

A second poll for ARD showed that record number of Germans believe that being part of the European Union is a good thing for the country, amid creeping euroscepticism among many of its neighbours.

Forty percent of those asked said membership of the 28-nation bloc reaped benefits, marking the highest level ever recorded in the DeutschlandTrend poll.

Some 19 percent, on the other hand, saw it as leading to disadvantages.

READ MORE: Group to tackle benefit migrant fears

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