Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has touched a hornet’s nest. Her statement comes in a series of such statements by some German officials leading to uncomfortable scenarios for German lawmakers. But, this time the Chancellor herself stepped into the quagmire and it remains to be seen to where it leads.
Germany's attempts to create a multi-cultural society in which people from various cultural backgrounds live together peacefully, have failed, Merkel said on Saturday October 16, 2010, speaking at a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam near Berlin.
The previous day, speaking in the same party meeting, Horst Seehofer the leader of CDU’s Bavarian sister party, CSU said the two parties were committed to the dominant German culture and added they are opposed to the multicultural one. He was quoted as saying, “Multikulti is dead.”
In August, a member of Germany's central bank, Thilo Sarrazin, sparked outrage by saying the country was being made "more stupid" by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim immigrants with headscarves. He added, “No immigrant group other than Muslims is so strongly connected with claims on the welfare state and crime.” The banker has since resigned, but his book written on the subject is selling like hot cakes.
Interestingly enough, Merkel also said that Germany needed specialists from overseas to keep the pace of its economic development, while warning against “immigration that weighs down on our social system.” Maybe Ms Merkel wants selected immigration, irrespective of what the laws and immigration agreements with immigrants’ countries say. Angela wants intellectual immigration to continue because, “Companies will go elsewhere because they won't find the people to work here anymore."
This somewhat anti-immigration tendency is seen in Germany irrespective of where the political party stands. The political parties from far right to left of the centre are unanimous on this issue. The banker who lashed out at Muslim immigrants was said to be a member of the opposition Social Democrats.
In fact, these political parties are trying to reflect social tendencies developed in the recent past among the German people, while they are supposed to reflect their party principles, if they matter. A recent study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation showed that 34.3 percent of Germans believe immigrants came to country for the social benefits. More than one-third (35.6 percent) of Germans feel their country is overrun by foreigners while 58.4 percent feel Muslims are a burden to the economy and their religious practices should significantly be curbed, according to the study.