23 Dec 2011

Germany attracting Greeks and Spaniards

1:52 pm on 23 December 2011

Official statistics show many more Greeks and Spaniards moved to Germany in the first half of this year than in the same period last year.

The BBC reports the surge in arrivals from Greece was 84% and the increase from Spain was 49%. Both countries are deep in debt.

In total, about 435,000 people moved to Germany - 68,000 more than in the first half of 2010.

Germany's jobless rate is 6.9%. In Greece it is 17.7% and in Spain 21.5%.

The Federal Statistical Office also said Germany saw a 30% increase in migrants from the 10 former communist countries which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007.

About 300,000 people emigrated from Germany in the first half of 2011.

Free movement of workers is a core principle enshrined in EU treaties. But the BBC reports temporary restrictions are allowed if there is evidence of domestic labour market difficulties.