Spiegel: Greeks Migrate to Germany to Find a Job and a Better LifeGerman newspaper Spiegel is making an effort to discourage Greek young people from migrating to Berlin, as they might be victims of a delusion that a major European capital city can provide them with an excellent quality of life.
“Faced with increasing unemployment in Greece, bright and educated young Greeks are now fleeing to Germany by the thousands in the hope of finding work and setting up a new life for themselves. However, once there, many struggle to find jobs, especially if they don’t speak the German language,” according to a recent Spiegel article.
Many young Greeks have made their way to Germany, despite the country’s poor image in their homeland, reports the German newspaper. About 25,000 new Greek immigrants registered with German authorities last year, twice as many as in 2010. These figures, says Hamburg immigration expert Vassilis Tsianos, don’t include those immigrants who have not yet registered with the German authorities, which is why he estimates there were 60,000 new Greek immigrants in Germany last year. Most are economic refugees with degrees – attorneys, engineers and architects. Equipped with equal amounts of courage and naiveté, they hope to find the same opportunities that awaited Greek guest workers who arrived with the immigration waves of the 1960s and 1970s.
“Many go to Berlin because they assume that the capital, like London or Paris, is an affluent place. But only after they’ve arrived do they realize that Berlin, the dream destination of young southern Europeans, is in fact a poor city with a tight labor market,” says the article.
Additionally, “the new arrivals cannot expect any help from the German government. Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), likes to invoke a sense of ‘European solidarity’ that makes it imperative for Germany to support the Greek economy. But she isn’t about to offer the same support for refugees from the Greek crisis.”
The example of the college-educated Greek economic migrants presented in the article shows how far Germany still is from being the modern country of immigration that many people would like it to be. Instead of accepting new immigrants and helping them to integrate into German society, as it tried to do in the past for Turkish immigrants, Germany is only erecting higher barriers. It is hardly taking advantage of the potential offered by well-educated foreign workers.
“German policy officially advocates a united Europe, open borders and a uniform market. But the country is somewhat reluctant to shoulder the burdens that result from such a policy,” explains Spiegel journalist Maximilian Popp.