Immigration To Germany Surges, As Rules Barring Eastern European Workers Lifted
Immigration to Germany, the most powerful state in Europe, jumped to its highest levels in 16 years, driven by thousands of arrivals from economically struggling countries like Greece and Spain, as well as by the lifting of prohibitions against eastern Europeans.
Government figures indicated 958,000 people moved to Germany in 2011, while 679,000 left -- a net inflow of 279,000, the highest since 1996.
The number of Greek migrants almost doubled, with the majority of arrivals to Germany coming from the new EU member states, including Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The rising influx came after Germany’s seven-year exemption to EU rules on the free movement of workers expired.
Thus, according to the government, 163,000 people from Poland moved to Germany last year, 49,000 more than the prior year. Hungarian arrivals numbered 41,000, a 12,000 increase from 2010. The number of migrants from Bulgaria and Romania rose by 33 percent and 29 percent, respectively.