Scientific study finds asylum seekers boosting European economies

A Customs and Border Protection Agent talks to US activist Ricardo Garcia (C) from Casa Asuncion shelter, after stopping a group of Honduran and Guatemalan migrants who arrived to ask for political asylum in US, at the Paso del Norte International Bridge, in Ciudad Juarez Chihuahua, Mexico on the border with El Paso, Texas, US, on June 15, 2018. (AFP)
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.”


Somalia’s Al-Shabab storm military base in country’s south, kill 27 soldiers

Updated 31 min 43 sec ago
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Somalia’s Al-Shabab storm military base in country’s south, kill 27 soldiers

  • The base is some 50 km (31 miles) away from the port city of Kismayu
  • Al Shabab attacked the same base in June, wounding seven soldiers

MOGADISHU: Somalia’s Al-Shabab group said on Monday its fighters had attacked a military base in the south of the country, killing 27 soldiers.
“We first attacked the base with a suicide car bomb and then stormed. We killed 27 soldiers and took the base. Some soldiers fled into the jungles,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabab’s military operation spokesman said.
The base is some 50 km (31 miles) away from the port city of Kismayu. There was no immediate comment from government official on the attack.
Al Shabab fights to topple Somalia’s central government and impose its a rule based on its own strict interpretation of Islam’s Sharia law.
Al Shabab attacked the same base in June, wounding seven soldiers.