Jobless foreigner rise puts plans in doubt

Tom Bristow
Tom Bristow - [email protected] • 2 Apr, 2014 Updated Wed 2 Apr 2014 08:30 CEST
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The number of jobless foreigners in Germany has increased to 541,000 including more than 400,000 from European countries. The figures appear to make a mockery of draft government proposals to kick out unemployed EU migrants.

A draft government report released last week suggested unemployed foreigners from EU countries could be expelled despite having freedom of movement and work.

The report said unemployed foreigners did not have a right to stay under EU law if their job search had no chance of success.

In discussing the limitations on residency, the proposals pointed to an EU court ruling which said six months was an appropriate period to reassess whether someone should be allowed to stay.

But the thousands of unemployed EU citizens in Germany would seem to make any proposal to “expel” jobless migrants from EU countries an impossible task. The number has increased by 5.3 percent in a year and now stands at 15.4 percent compared to 

According to Labour Office statistics released on Tuesday there are 36,000 unemployed Poles in Germany, 35,000 Italians and 19,700 Greeks.

There are also 10,000 Bulgarians and 11,000 Romanians registered as unemployed in the country. On January 1st the last travel and work restrictions on people from Bulgaria and Romania were lifted and those two countries saw the biggest rise in the number of unemployed.

But together they only represent four percent of the total number of unemployed migrants in Germany.                                                                                                                                      

"The number of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania in the nation is manageable, but regionally worrying," interior minister Thomas de Mazière said when the proposals were released last week. "Therefore it is right that we counteract now, so that there is no major damage to the country."

On top of the 541,000 foreigners registered as unemployed, another 945,000 were seeking work, including 700,000 Europeans, according to the Labour Office statistics.

As is the case already in Belgium, EU nationals with long-term jobseekers allowances will not be put on a plane and flown back to their home countries, but rather stripped of all state-paid educational or health benefits and not allowed to sign a rental agreement.

EU law states citizens from any member state can move freely within the 26 Schengen area countries but can’t stay to live in one for more than three months unless they have found work, are studying or have sufficient financial means to not be a burden to the state.

The figures released on Tuesday showed unemployment in Germany fell to 7.1 percent in March from 7.3 percent in February. 

SEE ALSO: 'Unemployed EU citizens can be expelled'



Tom Bristow 2014/04/02 08:30

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