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Unless the German government comes up with a labour market oriented immigration policy, business will increasingly suffer skills shortages and domestic consumption will continue to stagnate.
This is the view of Professor Dr. Michael Hüther of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research.
Hüther told German business daily Handelsblatt that all efforts to encourage more women to become part of the labour force and the extension of working lives are a step in the right direction but "they will not be able to resolve the problem."
Hüther believes that those who think that Germany is not an immigration country are simply deluding themselves. Two years ago the salary threshold from which onwards highly qualified individuals can obtain a work permit was lowered from 86,000 Euro per annum to 66,000 Euro per annum. Hüther sees this as too little, too late because the starting salary for a professor in Berlin is 46,700 Euro per annum, which would prevent a foreign individual from taking on that professorship.
Hüther said "we need successful immigration and integration. Our national football team demonstrates clearly what this can mean. We must turn the football success into a success story for the whole country."