Thursday, July 1, 2010

Germany: "Opposition demands overhauled citizenship laws as naturalisations drop"

Photo and text below borrowed from The Local, 6/29/10.

Now here is an idea that Japan has not thought about when considering its own problem of a declining population. Sometime worth thinking about...

New government statistics showed this week that fewer immigrants are becoming German citizens, spurring opposition politicians to call for reforms to a system they say impedes naturalisation when the country urgently needs to buoy its shrinking population.

According to the new numbers from the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis), the number of people to gain German citizenship has been decreasing in recent years. Between 2000 and 2007 some 140,000 people received German passports each year, but since then the numbers began decreasing and last year just 96,100 did.

The socialist Left party on Tuesday accused the government of failing to make an effort to increase numbers. Spokesperson for immigration policy Sevim Dagdelen said her party would soon present a new plan for naturalisation after only five years that does not depend on income.

Meanwhile Green party leader Cem Özdemir, who as the son of Turkish immigrants did not gain citizenship until 1983, complained that the country is ignoring its “existing naturalisation potential.”

Özdemir encouraged the government to abolish its requirement to give up native citizenship when gaining a German passport. He also criticised a recent call by two conservatives for an intelligence test for immigrants as a sign the country’s frequently noted inhospitality.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, I think Japan HAS thought about it...and is not really interested. :/ There is a lot of resistance to the idea of making Japan less purely Japanese by introducing immigration and assimilation; the prevailing attitude is more of the "guest worker" type. There is some debate about this, because not everyone feels that way, but there is definitely some exclusionary thought behind the currently unfriendly immigration/naturalization laws (and family registry rules, and divorce/custody laws, and so on and so forth).