Germany’s labor costs above EU average? Sure. But take a closer look. Forget about Eastern Europe.
Germany is one of the lowest when it comes to labor costs in Western Europe. And maybe there’s a connection here somewhere but it’s unemployment rate is also one the lowest.
“This convergence of relative labor costs results from the fact that in countries with low labor costs, growth rates have been well above those of countries with already high labor costs for many years.”
European travelers have contended for weeks with the possibility that Greece’s dwindling finances might lead to empty ATMs. They should have concerned themselves instead with Germany.
While cash machines in Athens are still operating without any trouble, striking couriers in Berlin this week stopped filling ATMs, leading to a crunch for those trying to make withdrawals. And the open-ended labor dispute with a local security company means there’s no end in sight.
Berlin’s strike is the latest in a series of walkouts that have riled a nation more accustomed to mocking the labor strife which has so often beset neighboring France. A strike by train drivers that began Tuesday is paralyzing travel and clogging highways throughout Germany. That action follows a March walkout by pilots at Deutsche Lufthansa AG that led to flight cancellations for 220,000 people.
A mass influx of skilled foreign laborers with “blue cards” to Germany is causing unexpected bureaucratic headaches and unsettling the already unsettled German xenophobic population at large.
So far, a grand total of 139 (that’s 1-3-9) foreign professionals have received the coveted card, camparable to the US-Amerikan “green card,” since its introduction in August.
“Wow. We had no idea just how bad people wanted to come here,” said one suprised immigration official. “This was way too easy. But how are we going to find jobs for all these folks now?”
Skilled employees from outside the European Union have apparantly been lining up everywhere and eating their achy breaky yearning little hearts out in earnest for this envied piece of blue plastic for quite some time now, partly due, it seems, to Germany’s celebrated image of being an overly bureaucratic and unwelcoming place for foreigners of all non-German kinds.
“German immigration law is still complicated and not very transparent for foreign skilled employees.”