Compared with their peers in many other European countries, on the surface things look good for young Germans. Youth unemployment here was 6.4% in 2017, far lower than EU countries like Italy or Greece. But there is still a persistent feeling that the older generation isn’t focusing enough on areas that will impact young people.
House prices have risen 80% in major cities since 2009, according to a recent Deutsche Bank report. Rents are also rising, it said, and there’s a national shortfall of about one million residential units. A recent OECD report, meanwhile, said that rapid population ageing “would challenge the financial sustainability of the public pension scheme”.
“The politics we have now here in Germany are more for middle-aged people, Baby Boomers - not for the younger generation,” said Aaron Hinze, a 24-year-old working in health care in Berlin. “When you look in the future and you ask who is paying my retirement when I’m old? Nobody.”
Just because Germans are pessimistic about their future doesn’t mean others outside the country are so gloomy. Elsewhere in Europe and the world, Germany remains a land of plenty for young people interested in moving to greener pastures.
Dino Cviko, a 24-year-old journalism student in Sarajevo, told BBC Capital that he hoped to move to Germany when he finishes his studies - even if it means giving up the possibility of working in journalism. “Most of us actually want to move out of here, out of Bosnia,” he said. “Especially to Germany, our promised land.”
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