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Tuesday, June 17, 2003

European Emmigration on the Rise

Interesting detail this from Germany about how young people are responding to the growing pessimism about the future of the German economy by packing their bags:

Andreas Sammereier never dreamed it could be so easy to get a job. The 34-year-old electrical technician had been laid off, joining the ranks of the more than 10 percent unemployed in Germany. But one hour after showing up - unannounced - at a company that presses CDs and DVDs and having an impromptu interview, he walked out with an offer for a job he'll be starting next month.The catch: The job, working for Dex Audio Pty. Ltd., is in Australia.

Mr. Sammereier is part of what observers in Germany are calling a new wave of emigration. The most recent numbers available, from Germany's central office of statistics, show that close to 110,000 Germans left the country in 2001. Based on the number of people coming to them for advice, however, the Raphaelswerk, an organization associated with the Catholic Church that offers practical advice and counseling to people considering emigration, says that numbers are skyrocketing and estimates that the figures for 2002 will be twice as high. Peter Thul, author of an emigration how-to book that will be published this month, predicts that the numbers will double again in 2003.

These emigrants, says Martina Luedecke, a counselor with Raphaels-werk in the western German city of Essen, are mostly young, well-educated professionals frustrated with the lack of opportunity in their homeland."I meet more and more young people who have lost their belief in Germany," says Ms. Luedecke. "It seems very clear that this new wave of people heading out of Germany is a result of the current economic situation. Not all of them, of course, but a significant number of them just don't see a future here anymore." Luedecke could be describing a number of European countries. France, too, is witnessing a growing rate of emigration, with the percentage of French living overseas rising 30 percent between 1998 and 2002, according to France's Office des Migrations Internationales. The reasons include France's old-guard business culture, high taxation, and youth employment - 21 percent for those under 25. Young professionals are heading to Canada, the United States and other European Union countries. Italy is also seeing an increase in emigration, experts say.
Source: Christian Science Monitor

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