New German immigration law may lure Polish Ukrainians: report

Germany’s new immigration law could prompt 500,000 Polish-based Ukrainians to leave the country, according to a report.

The German government, which seeks to ease immigration rules to offset labour shortages, plans to bring the new regulations into force in early 2019, Rzeczpospolita reported.

Krzysztof Inglot, chairman of employment agency Personnel Service, told the daily that 0.5 million Ukrainians could leave for Germany.

A workers’ exodus would mostly affect the industry, agriculture alongside food and fruit farming sectors, Inglot said.

According to the Work Service employment agency, around 60 percent of Polish-based Ukrainians could leave for the West.

Inglot said: “This poses a great risk to the Polish economy. Within two or three months the [country’s] labour shortage could expand from 165,000 to 0.5 million vacancies.”

“It would also trigger an enormous rise in wage pressures and lead to a drop in the competitiveness of [Polish] companies,” Inglot said. He added that as a result, the manufacture of consumer products would fall by 10 percent.

Rzeczpospolita estimated that well over a million Ukrainian workers are based in Poland. Around 426,000 are legally employed in the country, according to the paper, citing the Social Insurance Institution

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