Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Integration teachers as economic stimulus? I'm afraid that would fall short as a left-wing agenda item: Integrationslehrer - Nur raus aus dem Traumberuf - SpOn. The article describes a full-time teacher who -as a top earner- takes home €1,200 a month. Some of them have to supplement their income with HartzIV. That's not gonna lead the Eurozone recovery.

Housing is a another sore point. I'd think immigration is one of the most important ways to alleviate our demographic problem. The caveat is that all those empty graying villages are empty for a reason - the jobs are somewhere else and people move accordingly to the metropolitan areas. Which is where we have been having a affordability/supply/gentrification problem.

...but soon we need a massive building program for affordable housing. Otherwise we will have tent cities during this winter and later on massive competition between people who already need social housing today. That would be poison for our social cohesion and the ideal growth medium for right-wing extremists and xenophobia.
This op-ed penned by a green and a CDU politician shows a way by which this challenge could be met but also how this could follow the anti-immigrant template already demonstrated by other countries. The Swiss complain about the Germans and how they take away jobs and housing. The Brits complain about the Bulgarians and the Poles. Their housing problems are largely self-inflicted but that doesn't stop people from blaming the new competition. And so came the drive to limit migration to a minimum in the UK and Switzerland. Also that problem doesn't suddenly go away if the status of a refugee changes. A different label doesn't grow an apartment.

Jobs? "low-skill, high-labour turnover occupations that are necessarily migrants' first port of call". Highly-qualified immigrants have a problem getting into appropriate jobs under normal circumstances (the proverbial foreign academic driving taxi). Wasn't Germany supposed to soak up all those young hopeful Spaniards and Greeks? That barrier won't change overnight just because of the Syrians. Then comes the language barrier. And not all will be highly-educated. Very highly educated people are arriving too. "But the officials on site tell me they expect a share of 15 to 20 percent of adult illiterates" (interior minister de Maiziere) He also said:

... de Maizière warned that integrating the new arrivals could be difficult. Currently there are about four million Muslims in Germany, especially with a Turkish background he said. "Now we will get hundreds of thousands of Muslims with an Arabic background. Which is, according to my French colleague, a significant difference in terms of integration."
There we have the complex of culture, religion, race, and xenophobia that nobody wants to talk about (me neither!). I hope for the best but some bidirectional culture shock is inevitable. And watch how the mood will flare up if one single refugee commits a crime. See the case of the Eritreian asylum seeker who murdered two people in a Swedish IKEA (the right-wing 'Swedish democrats' are nearing 20% approval).

Which leads me to another conclusion. There is a practical theory that says welfare states are reliant on the trust generated by a mostly homogenous population. That is actually born out by observation. Mistrust, segregation, and transactional costs rise in such cases as the US, Nigeria, etc. Why do you think the US doesn't have a comprehensive welfare state? Because they don't want 'those people' to have it. Why is every major city in the US neatly segregated by race? In Europe too. So to add another insult towards humanity: people are not only selfish and evil (sometimes), they are xenophobic and racist too.

A long ramble to support my original point: Schengen is toast.

PS: Leading nation alone - Sueddeutsche

Germany has adopted a sharp rhetorical stance during the Greek crisis. Now Berlin shouldn't be surprised that solidarity is lacking in the refugee question. ... For the first time ever, a significant number of member states say that a problem is irrelevant to them. This tone has a new quality and will not lead to a fast resolution. ... 90% of refugees are taken in by just nine of the 28 member states. The way the appeals towards a fair sharing of the burden are brushed aside threatens the foundation of the EU. The danger for European cohesion becomes obvious.
Monkey see, monkey do.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Wed Sep 2nd, 2015 at 04:09:31 PM EST
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