Germany’s conservatives, Greens at odds over migration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and CDU/CSU parliamentary group leader Volker Kauder arrive for a meeting with the CDU/CSU parliamentary groups, in this November 6, 2017 photo, in Berlin. (AFP)
Updated 15 November 2017
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Germany’s conservatives, Greens at odds over migration

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Greens are setting out contrasting positions on migration as the prospective partners in a new German government seek compromises to enable a coalition.
Merkel’s Union bloc, the pro-business Free Democrats and the traditionally left-leaning Greens aim to decide this week whether to start formal coalition negotiations. Migration — particularly whether to allow relatives to join people granted protection that falls short of asylum — is one main sticking point.
Those people can’t currently bring relatives to Germany, and Merkel ally Volker Kauder said there’s “no room for maneuver.”
He told Tuesday’s Passauer Neue Presse newspaper 300,000 people could apply to come.
Prominent Green Claudia Roth told ARD television the right to a family “is a fundamental right.”
She said it’s likelier 50,000-70,000 people would come.


Scientific study finds asylum seekers boosting European economies

Updated 21 June 2018
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Scientific study finds asylum seekers boosting European economies

  • Asylum seekers contributed most to a country’s gross domestic product after three to seven years, the research found
  • The findings come amid a rise of anti-immigrant sentiment across Europe, where immigration peaked in 2015 with the arrival of more than a million refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa

NEW YORK: Asylum seekers moving to Europe have raised their adopted nations’ economic output, lowered unemployment and not placed a burden on public finances, scientists said on Wednesday.
An analysis of economic and migration data for the last three decades found asylum seekers added to gross domestic products and boosted net tax revenues by as much as 1 percent, said a study published in Science Advances by French economists.
The findings come amid a rise of anti-immigrant sentiment across Europe, where immigration peaked in 2015 with the arrival of more than a million refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa.
An annual report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees released on Tuesday showed the global number of refugees grew by a record 2.9 million in 2017 to 25.4 million.
The research from 1985 to 2015 looked at asylum seekers — migrants who demonstrate a fear of persecution in their homeland in order to be resettled in a new country.
“The cliché that international migration is associated with economic ‘burden’ can be dispelled,” wrote the scientists from the French National Center for Scientific Research, the University of Clermont-Auvergne and Paris-Nanterre University.
The research analyzed data from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Asylum seekers contributed most to a country’s gross domestic product after three to seven years, the research found. They marginally lowered unemployment rates and had a near-zero impact of public finances, it said.
Greece, where the bulk of migrants fleeing civil war in Syria have entered Europe, was not included because fiscal data before 1990 was unavailable, it said.
Chad Sparber, an associate professor of economics at the US-based Colgate University, said the study was a reminder there is no convincing economic case against humanitarian migration.
But he warned against dismissing the views of residents who might personally feel a negative consequence of immigration.
“There are people who do lose or suffer,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“Immigration on balance is good,” he said. “But I still recognize that it’s not true for every person.”