Immigration Offers Germany Costs and Benefits
Jan 1, 2015 | 13:14 GMT
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
The German economy is the largest in Europe, making the country a magnet for immigrants. This influx of immigrants has only picked up with the emergence of the eurozone crisis, as Germany is one of the few European countries that has maintained low unemployment amid the economic malaise. The crises in the Middle East and pervasive poverty in Africa have also led to a rise in the arrival of asylum seekers.
From an economic point of view, immigration benefits Germany. Immigrants help to mitigate Germany's demographic change as its population ages and shrinks. While this makes sense from a financial point of view, it also presents political problems. In recent months, anti-immigration sentiments in Germany have become more visible, and some recent arrivals to Germany have struggled to integrate into German society. In the near term, German authorities will continue to defend the core EU principle of free movement of people. In the long run, however, this position will come under increasing criticism, and a decline in Germany's support for free movement is possible.