Mighty Germany Leans on Troubled Neighbors

With unemployment at record lows, Berlin needs workers
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2011 10:33 AM CST
Protesters participate in a demonstration against the influence of bankers and financiers near the European Central Bank (EZB) on October 15, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Greece may be threatening to destroy the euro and the European Union, but mighty Germany still could really use a hand from the beleaguered country, reports the AP. With just a 6.6% unemployment rate—Germany's lowest in 20 years—and an aging population, Germany needs at least 12,000 additional doctors, 80,000 engineers, 66,000 IT specialists. To bridge that chasm, Berlin must turn to high-unemployment neighbors, such as Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

The German government has taken to arranging international job-hunting sessions for many of its country's companies and passed legislation to recognize more foreign degrees and qualifications, helping immigration to Germany shoot up 13% over the past five years. "About 80% of my friends are looking for jobs abroad and many of them want to go to Germany," said one Barcelona native who signed a contract with a chemical company in Munich. "We can learn a lot there and salaries are also higher."

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