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German bid to lure foreign professionals a flop: Report

Published on Nov 18, 2012 7:10 PM

BERLIN (AFP) - A programme to attract foreign professionals has flopped in Germany, drawing just 139 people since it was introduced in August, a newspaper reported on Sunday, citing official figures.

The Welt am Sonntag said that the "Blue Card" for skilled employees from outside the European Union had proved far less appealing than hoped, in part due to Germany's image as overly bureaucratic and unwelcoming to foreigners.

The report, which quoted figures provided by the Federal Office for Migration, found that of the 139 Blue Cards issued, 112 went to foreigners living in Germany before 2012 and thus already holding other work permits.

"The mass influx of skilled labour has not materialised," said the managing director of a board of experts from German foundations on integration and migration, Ms Gunilla Fincke.

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