When Southern Europeans Migrate North

Since its inception, the European Union (EU) pursued a bold path of combining various nations, with different economies, cultures, and languages, into a pact that could prevent the internal wars that had plagued the region before, become a solid force to rival the United State’s presence and currency in the world, and create conditions necessary for economic prosperity and labor mobility.

They also sought to create a common foreign policy, focused on prominent issues such as irregular migration from North Africa and Eastern Europe. Racism, deportation and xenophobic violence have come to define each nation’s reaction to newly arrived migrants, whether legally or not, as they are perceived to be, among other perceptions, compounding the unemployment problem by acquiring jobs offered to them at extremely low wages.

But what happens  when there are actual citizens, not irregular migrants, from debt-ridden and austerity-punished EU nations (Greece, Spain and Italy) unable to migrate to the more prosperous northern states (France and Germany) in search of jobs due to the cultural and language barriers that were expected to be eliminated during the EU’s expansion and subsequent labor market convergence? Read it all below:

“Europe’s Job Seekers Flock to Germany,” by James Angelos for the Wall Street Journal:

Christos Karoustas and his wife, Varvara, never thought they would move away from their village in Northern Greece, much less leave the country.

But when he lost his job as an accountant amid Greece’s economic meltdown and they could no longer support their three teenage children, the family decided to go where the jobs are: Germany.

“We came here to forge a new path all together,” said Mr. Karoustas, 46 years old, sitting with his wife and youngest son, Nikos, in their modest new apartment in Pfullingen, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Stuttgart.

Despite the enmity often directed at Berlin for its insistence on painful austerity as the cure for Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, Germany has become a new land of opportunity for tens of thousands of people fleeing their recession-racked homelands.

Data released Tuesday by the German statistics agency showed immigration hit a 17-year high last year, with the increase from Europe’s crisis-riddled nations “particularly evident.”…

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