Migrants will boost Europe's economy

Greek yogurt billionaire fills his plants with refugees
Greek yogurt billionaire fills his plants with refugees

The huge influx of refugees into the European Union from across the Mediterranean will lift the bloc's growth and support its troubled labor market.

That's the forecast of the European Commission, the union's executive branch.

According to the United Nations, 744,000 migrants have fled to Europe so far this year -- more than 218,000 in October alone. Last month's surge was more than in all of last year.

And with the violence in the Middle East escalating, the crisis is not likely to ease.

European Union expects 3 million refugees to have arrived to its shores by 2017.

Opinion: Europe is strong enough to take in refugees

The migration is putting a strain on Europe's finances.

Governments are pouring money into rescue operations and border protection, as well as housing, health care and other services provided to the refugees.

But the report suggest that this additional spending will quickly turn into higher growth. It says the immigration wave will provide the economy with a boost of around 0.2%.

Just how much could Europe benefit depends on the skills the refugees will bring with themselves -- higher skilled migrants contribute more.

Europe needs migration. Its population is aging and shrinking, and its social and health care systems are already feeling the pressure.

An influx of younger workers could ease that. Plus, research shows that migrants tend to be net contributors to the system, getting far less in benefits than they pay in in taxes.

Seeking Refuge: Migration Crisis

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