BERLIN — Forty percent of economics professors surveyed in Germany say they expect severe drawbacks to the country's open-door refugee policy, and only 23% see immigration as a source of opportunities, a new survey shows.
The joint research by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research of 220 economists professors also shows that 56% of them believe it's necessary to lower the minimum wage to better integrate asylum seekers with low qualifications, though 37% reject that idea. An overwhelming majority of the economists say they want stronger protection of the Schengen area borders. At the same time, they warn of closing national borders temporarily, which is costly.
When asked about the best approach for financing accommodation, provisions and support for refugees, 45% of the economists say the costs should be covered with new indebtedness, and 36% say it should be financed with tax increases.
A minority of respondents mention options such as reducing international payment transactions, implementing a higher retirement age (22%) or reducing other social spending (21%). Others (16%) advocate other saving measures or household reallocations.
The professors regard Germany's immigration policy particularly critically when comparing it to other countries. Many believe the British and French approaches seem smarter and less problematic in the long run. Clear winners are Canada and Australia, whose immigration policies demand asylum seekers to meet certain criteria.