Many Germans are rolling out a cheering; red carpet welcome for refugees that few could doubt is genuine.
To the many thousands fleeing war, who wanted more than anywhere to end up here, Germany is returning the compliment, saying ‘we want you, too’.
But there is a political pragmatism in play. Europe’s foremost economy needs capable hands and brains. The unemployment rate is just 6.4%, and the population is ageing, overall.
The country will need an immigration top-up for several years to come. Employers are even lobbying to get the newcomers streamlined access to the labour market. Births are being outnumbered by deaths by around 200,000 per year, 670,000 and 870,000, respectively.
The fertility rate is one of Europe’s lowest, at 1.36 per woman.
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