Do all paths lead to Toleranz*? (the German word for “tolerance”)

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Lundi, 15 Novembre, 2010

The German administration is willing to acknowledge the diplomas obtained out of the EU. The country’s cyclical crises drive it to open up beyond the borders of the EU. Is this really another step toward hospitality?

“Any person who studied abroad shall be able to apply for the equivalence of their diplomas in Germany”, the German secretary of Education Annette Schavan announced on Monday, October 18th. “We got to have a welcoming culture” the German secretary of Economy Rainer Bruederle highlighted. But with economic and demographic crises in the background, is this a good news for tolerance and universalism?

“Yes”. To Daniel Goldberg: “face to openings taking the right direction, we have to show support.” That député (MP) of the French Socialist party for Seine-Saint-Denis, who is behind a parliamentary bill aiming at eliminating the nationality criterium generally to be complied with for accessing an employment in civil service, laments this “France which, once again, has not progressed so much in those matters”. Yet, from the point of view of wallet, that kind of opening is worth it. This has been understood by the German secretary of Economy, who now deems necessary to exploit the qualified migrant workers. “Necessary”?

Last year, the lack of qualified labour cost the German economy 15 billion Euro. To this shortage must be added: the ageing of the population resulting from the combination of an increase in life expectancy (77 years old for males and 82 years old for females) and a low birthrate (1.3 child per woman). The situation is serious but not desperate: we have immigrants! Thanks to that hospitable measure of acknowledgement of foreign diplomas, the German economy “will be able to enjoy 300,000 additional workers”, Annette Schavan explained. According to Daniel Goldberg, “this does not address the problem”. In France, even though the person originating from out of the EU did obtain the same diploma, “the value being equal, he or she cannot exercise certain responsibilities, and in the case of civil service, has a sub‑status… the criterium of nationality is blocking”. The result of all this is that the debate remains locked in the ground of the usefulness of the alien worker: namely his/her market value for the government which hosts him/her. In Germany as elsewhere, the reason why a policy of “welcoming culture” is deemed necessary is the (economic) loss of income. Anyhow, at least that’s something...



Translated by Thomas Ruiz

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