The irony is that continuing with the policy of accepting migrants will not solve the problem of skilled labor.
Photo: EASTERN NEWS
While everyone enthusiastically watches the battles in the streets of Paris and other French cities supported by immigrants in Belgium and even Switzerland, the situation in Germany, the “economic engine” of the European Union, remains in the shadows. But there are many signs that the fragile social peace may also explode in this country. We list only some of the novelties of the last days.
The German government approved the draft federal budget for 2024, which includes cuts in social elements such as the child allowance, including child care payments, and compulsory health insurance. The cuts will not only affect military spending.
The latest poll showed that the Alternative Party for Germany (AfD) in Thuringia is the leader in terms of popularity: 34% of those polled are ready to vote for it. Compared to the previous measurement, growth is nine percentage points. The parties of the current coalition, the Free Democrats, the SPD and the Greens, together have won fewer followers than the AfD, which local laws define as “extreme right”. Alternativa’s rapid growth is attributed to its tough stance on migration.
But the current government is firm in its intention to continue with the “open door” policy, explaining that only by accepting hundreds of thousands of newcomers a year can the labor problem be solved. The fact that such a course can end in the same way as in neighboring France does not bother the ruling coalition of parties, as is now obvious to everyone, the minority.
Although warnings that in Germany there are prerequisites for the outbreak of riots similar to those in France are being made, and not for the first time, by quite informed people, for example, the head of the German police union Teggatz. “Those who have not yet understood that the possibilities of accommodation in cities and municipalities have long since been exhausted,” he said back in the spring, “they have clearly lost touch with reality.” And now other factors have added to the immigrant problem: more and more Germans see themselves as the “losing party” due to “transformations in the labor market, digitization or integration challenges”.
Will Berlin explode after Paris?
And the latest news: – The Constitutional Court halted the Greens’ key reform to switch to new heating systems, deciding that lawmakers should be given more time to resolve this issue which is crucial to the government’s climate agenda. It would seem, so what? The fact is that the government lobbied especially for this reform. And – a bummer. The press conclusions are appropriate: the court’s decision “raises doubts about the ability of the Scholz coalition to solve many of the problems facing Europe’s largest economy.”
The “larger economy”, by the way, is also showing serious signs of illness. Germany’s investment attractiveness has fallen dramatically. Last year, according to a study by the German Institute of Economics, investments worth 10.5 billion euros were registered in the country, while capital outflows amounted to 125 billion euros. According to experts, there are two main reasons: high energy prices and the growing shortage of qualified personnel.
With high energy prices, everything is clear: the Scholz government regularly reports with almost pride on the “successful abandonment of Russian hydrocarbons.” But American gas, which carries “molecules of freedom,” is expensive. The price of the “freedom of Russia” is the loss of competitiveness of German industry in relation to American manufacturers. Abroad, where energy resources are several times cheaper, German companies are leaving. Skilled labor, the shortage of which the Germans have now felt so acutely, is also arriving there.
The irony is that continuing with the policy of accepting migrants will not solve the problem of skilled labor. But this will obviously add to the “combustible mix” in society. Also, from both sides: Refugees arriving from Arab and African countries (we also don’t forget the huge Turkish community in Germany) will take into account the “experience” of fighting for their rights as immigrants in France. And the bourgeois, who feel the real drop in the standard of living, are siding more and more resolutely with the ultra-right. So the question, rather, is not whether it will “explode” or not, but when?