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Germany starts to see refugee benefits

Friday, December 11, 2015 - 01:30

The German economy is continuing to expand thanks to private consumption, with refugees providing a limited additional boost. That verdict from the Economy Ministry follows a report from the Bertelsmann Foundation which suggests the country must pay the costs now in order to reap vital benefits longer term. Sonia Legg reports.

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Every unemployed refugee costs German taxpayers 12,000 euros a year. Only 8 percent find work within the first year and most rely on the state for everything from food and housing to language courses. But it'll all be worth it within five to 10 years, says the German Institute for Economic Research. And the Economy Minister agrees, making this plea at a political party congress. (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPD LEADER, VICE CHANCELLOR AND ECONOMY MINISTER, SIGMAR GABRIEL, SAYING: "You cannot celebrate in the morning for letting one million refugees into Germany and in the evening make a new proposal to treat them worse. This is double standards, and it will not get our support." The migrant crisis is already having an economic impact, thanks to spending on infrastructure. Combine that with rising private consumption - thanks to falling oil prices and a weak euro - and you have a positive outlook. Brenda Kelly is from London Capital Group. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON CAPITAL GROUP, MARKET ANALYST, BRENDA KELLY, SAYING: "Germany has come back from the brink. It was looking a lot softer in the summer but it does seem to be back on fire again." A slowing China and the VW crisis are still a problem for Germany. So too the rest of the euro zone. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON CAPITAL GROUP, MARKET ANALYST, BRENDA KELLY, SAYING: "We would like to see the rest of the euro zone follow suit and that at the moment is a little bit problematic owing to the high unemployment levels that we are seeing particularly amongst the youth sector." That's not a problem for Germany either. One think tank estimates the country needs half a million migrants a year until 2050 to counter a fall in the workforce from an ageing population.

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Germany starts to see refugee benefits

Friday, December 11, 2015 - 01:30