The Real Reason Germany And The Rest Of Europe Are Doomed To Crisis After Crisis

Old Men Germany

Germany may look like the healthy heart of Europe right now, but the country’s demographic position could see its competitive edge fall flat, according to Der Spiegel.

With all eyes currently on the short term crisis in European debt, observers may be overlooking Europe’s more long term demographic sickness. But Germany, faced with a declining birth rate and an increase in emigration that now sees more people leaving the country than entering, is starting to wake up.

The country has already tried policies to encourage family growth that have thus far failed, according to Der Spiegel. And Germany’s key country for immigration, Turkey, is now not such a boon, with net 10,000 Turks returning rather than coming to Germany.

But Germany’s problems still pale in comparison to many other European states, where declining birthrates and restrictive policies on immigration have halted population growth.

No. 15: Netherlands

The issue of preventing immigration from all Muslim countries took centre stage in recent local elections.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 6.6%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 10%

Change in working age population by 2020: -4.3%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 14: Luxembourg

Luxembourg has the highest amount of foreign born citizens in any country in Europe.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 8.7%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 17%

Change in working age population by 2020: -1.1%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 13: Denmark

Denmark has very strict immigration rules which prevent the wives and husbands of naturalized citizens from moving to the country for 28 years after their spouse's naturalization.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 9.1%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 11%

Change in working age population by 2020: -4.3%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 12: Bulgaria

The head of Bulgaria's immigration team has recently been arrested for illegally helping foreigners get citizenship.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 8.3%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 9.0%

Change in working age population by 2020: -5.6%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 11: Czech Republic

Czech pension profits grew by 720 Million Kc (40 Million) while membership grew in private pensions to 4.47 million people.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 7.8%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 7.6%

Change in working age population by 2020: -8.3%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 10: Belgium

New EU rules on travelling without a visa are supplying a large amount of Balkan immigrants to Belgium since the beginning of the year.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 10%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 14%

Change in working age population by 2020: -3.5%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 9: Poland

Poland is keeping steady in its plan on pensions, hoping that a slight increase in returns and increasing the retirement age will allow the program to remain in good stead.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 12%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 9.3%

Change in working age population by 2020: -5.7%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 8: Hungary

Hungary is attempting to take advantage of foreign discrimination against Indians by offering them places in their universities.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 11%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 12%

Change in working age population by 2020: -5.0%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 7: Italy

Italy experienced nationwide strikes of immigrant workers on March 1 showing the signs of tension within the country.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 14%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 15%

Change in working age population by 2020: -3.0%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 6: Sweden

Sweden has a policy of 'integration' for its immigrants giving them the language and cultural skills necessary to survive in the country.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 9.5%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 9.4%

Change in working age population by 2020: -6.0%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 5: Malta

Malta, a relatively closed post-colonial state, is experiencing an influx of immigration which some are saying is a positive move for its society.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 7.2%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 9.7%

Change in working age population by 2020: -7.1%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 4: Greece

Greece is making moves to give the children of migrant workers citizenship, but there is a substantial backlash to these political moves.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 12%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 19%

Change in working age population by 2020: -3.9%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 3: France

France is preventing an immigrant from Morocco from getting citizenship because he makes his wife wear an 'Islamic veil.'

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 13%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 14%

Change in working age population by 2020: -5.5%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 2: Finland

Finland experienced a 48% increase in asylum seekers last year, with most coming from Iraq and Somalia.

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 10%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 14%

Change in working age population by 2020: -8.5%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

No. 1: Slovenia

Slovenia's pension scheme remained balanced for 2009, with spent and received 4.6 Billion Euros ($6.3 Billion).

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2007: 9.9%

Pension cost compared to GDP in 2035: 15%

Change in working age population by 2020: -6.6%

Source: 2009 EU ageing Report

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