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Immigrants a Burden Say Germans

New survey figures have revealed that two in three Germans believe that immigrants have caused "serious" problems for the country's social services and schools.

The poll - commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation think tank - shows that two thirds of people say immigrants are an "extra burden" on the country's social services system.

And the same number believe that incomers are a source of conflict with "native" Germans and cause problems with schools.

Less than half were in favour of relaxing immigration rules or allowing immigrants to take dual nationality.

Pollsters Emnid said the anti immigration views were less marked in under 29s.

Nearly three quarters - 70 per cent - said immigration could make Germany more attractive to international investors.

But the country could pay a heavy price for its anti-immigration views as its older workforce dies out, concludes the Foundation.

"Highly qualified people from non-EU countries actively avoid moving to Germany," said the organisation's immigration expert Ulrich Kober.

"Without more social openness, we are not attractive for qualified immigrants, who we badly need to counter the demographic development," he added.

The poll comes after a new research revealed that Germany's population is set to soar by 2.2 million by 2017 as immigrants from failing EU states try to take advantage of the country's stable economy.

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