According to a report of an interview with Thomas Piketty, a French economist.
“The European Union has the capacity to absorb a large flow of migrants, one million per year in terms of inflow net of outflow,” he said.
“This is exactly what we had between 2000 and 2010 and this was working in the sense that unemployment was being reduced.
“The problem is – with the austerity policies and with the recession – now we are in a situation where it’s very difficult in particular with southern Europe, with the terrible economic situation that we have created there in particular.”
Mr Piketty was speaking to mark the launch of his new book, Chronicles On Our Troubled Times, a collection of essays he originally wrote for the French newspapers Liberation and Le Monde and published in English for the first time.
In the book Mr Piketty argues that, with a population of 510 million, the European Union is well able to cope with more immigrants.
The population of the EU has only risen by 0.2% a year since 1995, he argues, compared to 1.2% for the world’s population over the same period.
Quite what the advantages of increasing the population of the EU are we are not told. Comparing growth rates for the EU as against the average for the world misses the point – global population growth is too high not EU population too low.
Has Mr Piketty not heard of sustainability?