Germany needs 1.5 million migrants per year and they don’t need to speak German, says head of government’s Council of Experts

(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
By John Cody
6 Min Read

To counteract the shortage of worker personnel, Germany needs 1.5 million immigrants a year, claims German economist Monika Schnitzer, who heads the influential German government’s Council of Experts.

She also asserts that skilled workers don’t necessarily have to know German. Instead, it is more important that employees at Germany’s government immigration offices speak English.

“Germany needs 1.5 million immigrants a year if we are to have 400,000 new citizens every year, minus the considerable out-migration, and thus maintain the labor force,” the economist told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. She said, however, that she was skeptical that this could be achieved. She said the new skilled labor law goes in the right direction, but said it was not enough, and Germany needs to facilitate even more immigration.

“We urgently need a welcoming culture,” said Schnitzer.

Although Germany is facing an immigration crisis that is costing the country at least €36 billion a year in terms of housing, education and social benefits, many mainstream economists like Schnitzer are calling for more immigration. Not only do a majority of Germans reject this position, but the country’s anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has hit a record of 21 percent of support in the polls, with 30 percent of Germans saying they would consider voting for the party.

Germany has passed a new Skilled Workers Act, which she says goes in the right direction. The new law is expected to bring in millions of new foreigners on a points-based system.

“For example, foreigners’ offices that don’t scare off immigrants, but offer service,” she said. “We shouldn’t demand that foreign skilled workers know German for every job. But rather ensure that the employees of the foreigners’ office know English.”

Another factor that may be overlooked in the debate is the role of technological change, with Goldman Sachs estimating that over the coming years that 300 million jobs will be lost in North America and Europe due to artificial intelligence. Economists believe that fast food restaurants, factories, and many white-collar professions will see rapid transformation in the coming years, with AI and robotics already being implemented in a variety of fields.

If such a scenario comes to pass, many of the migrants arriving in Western countries may soon find themselves competing for scarce jobs with citizens.

Education and Germany’s workforce

The German economist also focuses on the state of education to explain away Germany’s current problems. To address the shortage of skilled workers, Germany also needs to invest more in children, Schnitzer demanded, criticizing that it is “an indictment that one in four fourth-graders cannot read properly.”

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As Remix News previously reported, much of the chaos in the German school system has to do with its exploding foreign population, with 38 percent of schoolchildren now having a foreign background.

In a new interview with one of Germany’s top newspapers, principal Norma Grube, who runs two schools in Chemnitz, describes increasingly chaotic conditions where many children have difficulty speaking German, assaults are commonplace, and parent-teacher meetings routinely require interpreters. In fact, there is little Grube tells Die Welt that backs the claims by pro-migration advocates that increasing diversity will bring a brighter future to Germany.

“Twenty-three different nations meet in the schoolyard, some of whom cannot understand each other at all and who sometimes come from hostile regions, such as Russia and Ukraine. We need a lot of parent-teacher talks, which mostly take place with interpreters. And that brings us to one of the reasons why the teaching profession has become less and less attractive: The psychological stress is enormous and it has increased significantly,” said Grube.

She also noted that as a principal, her new school has severe difficulties due to mass immigration, stating: “My new school is not easy. There is a good social structure in the Ore Mountains, and many teachers have taught their students’ parents. There is good social control and many stable parental homes. In Chemnitz, the student body is significantly more heterogeneous. Around half of the children are not of German origin, which does something to a school.”

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In some cases, there is not a single ethnic German left in any classes.

“There were classes at my school in which not a single child of German origin sat,” said Berlin Education Minister Katharina Günther-Wünsch (CDU). Nevertheless, her solution is now to bring in foreign instructors and not necessarily focus on German as the language of instruction.

Schnitzer also put forward a number of other recommendations, including companies working to keep older employees happy so that they do not retire early.

The Federal Republic as a whole is not making as much progress “as we could and should,” she explained. Among other things, it has not invested in infrastructure, is lagging far behind in digitization and has started too late with climate protection.

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