Germany plans to slow Jewish immigration by introducing a system assigning points to potential Jewish migrants who have been flooding into the country since 1990, the German news agency DPA reported Sunday.
DPA quoted the news magazine Der Spiegel, reporting that the move - which has been agreed by German Jewish leaders and state officials - comes after the country's Jewish communities have been overwhelmed by the large number of Jews coming from the former Soviet Union.
Germany's Jewish community has grown to about 110,000 people, up from 30,000 in 1989 before the opening of the Berlin Wall.
Then chancellor Helmut Kohl, in the run-up to Germany's 1990 reunification, opened the country to all Jewish migrants from central and eastern Europe. The only other group accorded such a privilege was ethnic Germans from the same regions.
The move, which was not welcomed by Israel,
was both a gesture to the then ageing German Jewish community. But it was also meant as tool of real-politic to show the world that Jews were willing to settle in a reformed and reunited Germany.
But the last years' growth appears to have been too fast and now officials are determined to slam on the brakes.
All Jews who want to settle in Germany will have to score at least 50 points out of a possible 105 in a ranking system to be administered by a federal agency, said Der Spiegel.
The system will be tested in the coming year and the results will be evaluated by state officials and leaders of the Jewish community.