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Germany

German Economists Take Dim View Of Merkel Migrant Policy

Refugees at the Austrian/German border
Refugees at the Austrian/German border

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.

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Society

NFTs Are Not Dead — They May Be Coming Soon To A Theater Near You

Despite turbulence in the crypto market, NFT advocates think the digital objects could revolutionize how films and television series are financed and produced.

NFTs Are Not Dead — They May Be Coming Soon To A Theater Near You

Mark Warshaw's series, The Bureau of Magical Things

Fabio Benedetti Valentini

PARIS — Advocates of a "participatory internet" (or Web 3.0) dream of an NFT future for cinematic works and animated films, despite the fact that Bitcoin (and cryptocurrency generally) is struggling. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital assets based on blockchain technology.

NFT converts say that digital objects could profoundly change the link between the general public and creators of cinematic content by revolutionizing the way animated films and TV series are financed. Even if, by their own admission, none of the experiments currently underway have so far amounted to much.

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