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Open borders advantages30th of June 2011
Leading economists agree that Germany will profit from openings its borders to workers from the newest EU member states. Restrictions were lifted on May 1 to allow people from the eight central European countries to enter the country.
The opening of the German labour market comes at the right time, according to Michael Hüther, president of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, who believes immigrants can help to address the current lack of professionals, and to reduce the impact of demographic change.
The institute expects a maximum of 800,000 immigrants to enter Germany in the next two years. Another 400,000 could follow by 2020. As large as these numbers may seem, the figures are not actually very high - over three million immigrants entered the country between 1991 and 2000.
According to a study carried out by the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR), almost 60 per cent of Germans support increased immigration of highly skilled foreigners. However the majority reject the arrival of low-skilled job seekers.