Germany reels under surge in immigrants from EU countries

Germany reels under surge in immigrants from EU countries

Germany reels under surge in immigrants from EU countries

Migrants from crisis-hit countries including Greece, Italy and Spain are heading to Germany, causing the biggest increase in incomer numbers in 20 years.

Germany’s Federal Statistics Office yesterday released figures showing that over a million immigrants entered the country in 2012, an increase of 13 per cent on 2011’s figures. The totals were the highest since 1995, with most arriving from Eastern Europe and southern Eurozone countries

.Arrivals from Italy, Portugal, Spain and France rose by 40 per cent over 2011, due to recession and soaring unemployment figures in migrants’ home countries. According to the Statistics Office, the debt crisis and financial woes still hitting many Eurozone member states is responsible for the hike in immigrant numbers.

Although youth unemployment in the southern European countries is at an all-time high, with Greece and Spain seeing 60 per cent of their young people without jobs, the bulk of immigrants are arriving from eastern European countries such as Romania and Poland. Over 176,000 Poles and 116,154 Romanians arrived in Germany in 2012, against 34,000 from Greece and Spain respectively.

Germany’s structural reforms 10 years ago have protected it from the worst effects of the financial meltdown, although economists are now suggesting that delayed effects are being felt in its economy. The country is increasingly seen as a destination for expat workers from the UK, and its well-priced universities are attracting high numbers of British students aiming to avoid Britain's soaring tuition fees.

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