GERMANY - Immigrants Welcome

Arno Froese

Perhaps Friederich Merz thought he was being clever. The head of Germany’s main opposition party recently claimed on television that many of the 1m Ukrainians who flooded into Germany this year came not as refugees but as what he called “social tourists,” to take advantage of government benefits. He should have known better.

A pair of surveys in the second quarter of this year illustrate the trend. The Institute for Employment Research, a government agency, estimated job vacancies in Germany at a record 1.93m, 66% more than last year. Meanwhile IFO, a think-tank in Munich, found that 49.7% of German companies cannot secure enough skilled workers, up from 30% in 2019 and the highest level since the surveys started in 2009.

The current left-of-center coalition recognizes the challenge. It has floated the idea of creating a Canadian-style points system to assess immigrants, easing rules on professional qualifications, and letting skilled immigrants hunt for jobs in Germany rather than insist they seal job contracts first. 

Germany is not the only rich country to have more people retiring than entering the workforce.

Can imported labor fill the gap? Marcus Winter is sure it can. Of the 750 staff in the local outsourcing and services firm he runs in the prosperous southern state of Baden-Württemberg, three-quarters are already foreign-born.

Mr. Winter would be happy to hire more immigrants. But workers from the poorer fringes of the European Union, who can enter Germany visa-free, are increasingly needed at home. Skilled would-be immigrants from countries such as Brazil or Bangladesh still face hurdles despite immigration reforms, introduced in 2000, that were meant to make Germany a talent magnet like Canada or Australia. 

-www.economist.com, 8 October 2022

Arno's Commentary

Something strange and unexpected is presently occupying the minds of those who concern themselves with the economy, workforce, unemployment, and compensation. It’s 2022; no longer oppressed by the 2019 coronavirus epidemic, economies the world over have restarted. But suddenly, there are not enough workers to fill the vacant positions—not just in low-level jobs such as janitors, of which already 51% are foreign born. 

This urgent need for more foreign workers has somewhat changed the minds of right-wing philosophy in Germany; particularly in former East Germany, fears were raised in 2015 because of the many refugees from the Middle East, ringing alarm bells about Überfremdung (getting overwhelmed by foreigners). Slowly but surely, things are changing.

Successful industrial nations are being increasingly internationalized. WorldPopulationReview.com lists countries by foreign-born percentage: Australia 30.1%, Switzerland 28.7%, Israel 22.5%, Germany 18.8%. This tendency shows that success, prosperity, and security are preeminent in countries that draw large foreign-born populations.

What does it mean? Simply that the world is being more internationalized than ever. 

This is the reverse progression from the Tower of Babel. Genesis 11:6a states: “the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language.” We know the result; the Lord “[confounded] their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” (verse 7b). Now, in the end stages of the end times, the nations—dispersed all over the world, divided by language—are coming together to form a new, New World Order where all live in peace, prosperity, and security. But we add, only temporarily.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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