Merkel's Open Door Policy – How Huge was That Mistake?
Trump has repeatedly criticized German chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies, calling her decision to take in so many refugees during the Syrian migrant crisis a “very catastrophic mistake.”
That mistake may have cost her the next election.
Merkel herself has admitted that she could have handled things differently. “If I could, I would turn back the time by many, many years, to prepare better,” she said. “There are political issues that one can see coming but don’t really register with people at that certain moment – and in Germany we ignored both the problems for too long,” she added
Merkel’s generous immigration policies are undeniably related to:
• An increase in crime/terrorism in Germany
• Increasing anti-immigration and anti-Muslim sentiment in Germany
• Britain’s decision to leave the EU (Brexit)
• Rise of right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
It’s been more than a year since Merkel scrapped the Dublin agreement and promised that Germany would welcome an unlimited number of Syrian refugees – no matter which countries they passed through to get there.
Stats from September 2016 revealed that roughly 99% of the 1.8 million migrants Germany took in are still unemployed. This is an enormous drain on the German economy.
Merkel has criticized local businesses for not hiring enough refugees, but business owners argue that most refugees lack basic German-language skills. A large percentage are not qualified beyond secondary school level. Some can’t read or write, and many cannot prove their identities.
“Given that around 80% of asylum seekers are not highly qualified and may not yet have a high level of German proficiency, we have primarily offered jobs that do not require technical skills or a considerable amount of interaction in Germany,” said a spokesman for the German business community.
Merkel and others hoped that migrant workers could help mitigate the growing skills shortage among Germany’s working-age population, but it’s not that simple.
Deutsche Telekom, which has plans to hire 75 refugees next year, says it takes at least 18 months for a refugee to earn the skills necessary to even apply for a job.
“The employment of refugees is no solution for the skills shortage,” laments Heinrich Hiesinger of ThyssenKrupp.