Scholz: Thanks to Immigration, Germany's Population could reach 90 million by 2070EU | December 12, 2022, Monday // 09:31| views
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany's population could increase significantly in the coming decades as the government tries to boost immigration to deal with labor shortages and a crisis in the pension system, Reuters reported. from BTA.
The government wants to attract foreign workers to stabilize the situation regardless of the aging population, with the goal of Germany's population increasing by seven percent to 90 million by 2070, Scholz explained on Saturday in Potsdam, where he participated in a civil forum.
Last month, the government agreed to reform immigration laws in a bid to open the German labor market to non-EU workers.
Authorities have said they want to boost immigration to address a skills shortage that is weakening the German economy. In addition, the aging of the German population is taking an increasingly heavy toll on the state pension system.
Scholz said that thanks to the current rate of population growth, which is partly due to immigration, the government can afford not to increase pension contributions until the end of its term in 2025.
Last week, Germany's statistics office said population growth this year is likely to be around one million people, reaching 84 million, driven by immigration from Ukraine.
In the coming decades, Germany's population could increase to 90 million people if the level of immigration is high enough, the statistics office added.
Limiting early retirement
Meanwhile, media group Funke and French newspaper West France quoted Scholz as saying that the German government is seeking to reduce the number of workers who retire early.
"The number of those who can really work until retirement age must be increased," the chancellor said. "For this to work, we need to expand full-day services in daycare centers and schools," he added.
According to the official Institute for Population Research, a growing number of German workers are aiming for early retirement and leaving the labor market at 63 or 64, even as German companies report a shortage of skilled workers. The official retirement age will gradually rise from 65 to 67 by 2031.
Scholz outlined the government's plans to create better start-up opportunities for young people and to invest in vocational and adult education. The chancellor said that in addition to this, Germany will need immigrants to ensure its prosperity.
"For a long time, immigrants in Germany were treated as if they would leave the country later. Getting citizenship was not a priority," he said. "But we have long since become a country of immigration and now we want to bring ourselves up to international standards."
In many countries, citizenship becomes possible after five years, and this should become the standard in Germany, "if you speak German, earn your own living and haven't committed any crimes," Scholz said.
The centre-left coalition government has launched reforms to ease immigration and citizenship rules.
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