Sunday, March 11, 2007

GERMANY - Industry pro immigration

Hamburg – According to a report of the “Bild am Sonntag”, the German industry has increased its pressure on the federal government to ease the restrictions of immigration law in order to facilitate the establishment of a higher number of foreign skilled labour in Germany. By its own account, the newspaper allegedly was submitted with a letter written by the President of the German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Ludwig Georg Braun, and addressed to the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Mr. Michael Glos (CSU). Therein they say, he would be asking Mr. Glos to plead for an easement of the restrictions for the immigration of qualified foreigners. According to Mr. Braun, for foreign career starters providing qualified graduation an annual minimum salary of € 40,000 shall be sufficient in order to receive a permanent residence permit. Presently, this limit is fixed at € 85,500. From Mr. Brown’s point of view this hurdle is too high for smaller and medium-sized companies. According to him foreigners who want to establish an enterprise in Germany shall only invest € 500,000 and create 5 jobs. At the moment the requirements are twice as much.

The German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce expects an economic growth of 2.3 percent and - taking the annual average - 0.5 million less unemployed than in 2006. Indeed, in February the number of unemployed has dropped by 826,000 which is biggest decline since 1949. According to the “Bild am Sonntag”, what Brown writes in this letter is that the lack of labour will get remarkably worse already in the near future. Indeed, there already is a deficiency of approx. 20,000 specialists in the sector of information technology. Up to now, this deficiency in foreign labour cannot be remedied: In 2005, 900 top executives from non-European Union countries came to Germany; during the first three months of the past year there were 140.

Source: dpa, translated by MKRG