Spain’s unemployment increases immigration to Germany

Germany has seen a surge in the number of immigrants arriving from crisis-hit southern European countries like Spain, Italy and Greece. It is the biggest surge in German immigration in nearly 20 years.

The Federal Statistics Office said that 1,081 million immigrants flocked to Germany last year, up 13 per cent from 2011 and the highest number since 1995.

The number of immigrants coming from Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy has risen by between 40 and 45 per cent compared to the prior year, although the total inflow from these countries remains well below that from Poland and Romania.

‘The rise in immigration from EU countries hit by the financial and debt crisis is particularly strong,’ the Statistics Office said.

Germany has remained strong during the crisis, benefitting from deep structural reforms introduced a decade ago, competitive small-and-medium sized companies and record low interest rates thanks to its safe haven status.

Unemployment, at 6.9 per cent, is hovering just above a post-reunification low. By contrast, more than one in four workers in Spain and Greece are without a job, and youth unemployment in these countries is close to 60 percent.

This has made Germany, Europe’s largest economy, an increasingly attractive destination, despite barriers like the language.

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