German MPs Snub Interior Minister Hard Stand on Bulgaria
The hardline position of German Minister of the Interior, Hans-Peter Friedrich, on Bulgaria's and Romania's Schengen accession has been met with opposition even among his own Christian Social Union.
According to the latest edition of Spiegel magazine, his proposal to restrict poor migrants from the two EU newcomers by not issuing them a visa after they have been found to have been using the German social assistance system for two years and asking their homelands to pay for the latter has been criticized by his colleagues.
Social Democratic Party politician, Gunther Krichbaum, Chairman of the EU Affairs Committee at the Bundestag, is quoted saying Germany should not restrict the influx of qualified work force, explaining the decision on Schengen should be made independently of the debate on Roma migration to Germany.
Gisela Piltz, Chair of the Parliamentary Group of the Free Democratic party at the Bundestag, stresses the free movement of people is one of the foundations of the EU with German employers benefiting from it as well.
Friedrich grounded his proposals on the need for Germany to prevent the draining of its social system.
The MPs counter it would be impossible to have the entire Old Continent go to Germany over its best social system.
Official data from the German Labor Bureau, cited by the Bulgarian online news agency Dnevnik, shows that common immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania do not count on social assistance. In 2012, 176 000 people from the two countries have arrived in Germany and 88 000 went back to their homelands.
By the end of 2012, nearly 100 000 people from Bulgaria and Romania have worked with contracts providing them social security and benefits and have paid social contributions.
The number of unemployed Bulgarians has increased by 35% to 11 606, but this is lower than the average for foreign workers in Germany.
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