This immigration crisis in Europe is a big deal, and it’s a bigger deal for Germany than for any other European country. Germany is directly in the firing line, both geographically and in terms of how many of the migrants want to settle there. Nearly 40% of migrants choose Germany as their preferred final destination, while the only other nation that is chosen by more than 10% of migrants is Hungary, at 18%.
Daniel Stelter is a very wired German economist and business thinker. He wrote to me a couple days ago, said he had read my remarks on Germany and the immigration crisis in last week’s Thoughts from the Frontline, and recommended to my attention a couple of articles he had just written on the issue. They are today’s Outside the Box.
In his note to me, Daniel says:
I doubt that it will work out as politicians hope. In theory we agree: well-educated people come to Germany to help us deal with the demographic crisis we face. The reality is that a big part of the immigrants will not be able to fulfill these hopes as they are illiterate, etc. We would have to invest heavily to make this happen, but politicians shy away from doing so. I have summarized what the scenarios are and what we would have to do to make it happen in this two-part comment for the Globalist, which you might want to have a look at. To be clear: Germany looks like ending up with more problems than less if we don’t change gears fast.
Please note that Stelter is not anti-immigration. His first piece below, “Germany’s Immigration Challenge,” enumerates the difficulties to be faced if Germany is to greatly increase immigration and lays bare a number of misconceptions about Germany’s ability to do so; but he doesn’t stop there. In the second piece, “Germany: A 10-Point Plan to Deal with the Immigration Challenge,” he thoroughly details what it would actually take for Germany to sustainably integrate the current wave of immigrants. This is a no-nonsense, no-holds-barred effort to confront the immigration crisis. Whether or not you think Stelter’s scheme can be realized, this (or something much like it) is what it will take to get the job done, not just in Germany but throughout Europe. This is going to be a costly endeavor no matter what, and it is going to happen as services and retirement payments are cut due to strained budgets. Which is going to strain nerves. This is the type of problem that has led to Marine Le Pen in France and others throughout Europe on the radical right and left beginning to show real strength in the polls. (Take a look at this piece on Le Pen from yesterday.)