Germany is changing its attitude towards immigrants

MünchenDuring the recent years German policy makers are progressively becoming more inclusinve towards foreign immigrants. A fifth of residents and a third of school children have a migrant background, making up a growing share of the electorate. As the German elections approach the changing attitude becomes more visible in the rethoric of the current German chancellor. Before ten years when unemployment was high and immigration laws were very restrictive, Merkel’s party campaigned on slogans like “Kinder statt Inder” (Children instead of Indians). Nowadays they are calling for a “welcome culture” towards migrants.

“Germany is making a lot of effort to promote immigration because of the very severe demographic situation which will affect it more than virtually any other OECD country,” said OECD migration expert Thomas Liebig.

“The discussion about a welcome culture is part of the whole process of becoming a country for which migration is normal.”

The current unemployment rate in Germany is at its lowest levels since the unification of West and East Germany in the beginning of the nineties. A the same time the country is facing a shortage of more than 5 million workers for the period 2015 -2020. This comes despite the fact that the government is trying to mobilize women and older people to participate in the economy.

Nearly 300,000 people, mainly from the European Union, came to Germany in 2011 as a permanent residents, This is almost three times more than in 2010. Most came from the eastern states that joined the EU in 2004, such as Poland.

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