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Leading conservative calls for more immigrant naturalisation

DDP/The Local · 14 Feb 2010, 10:37

Published: 14 Feb 2010 10:37 GMT+01:00

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Lammert, the president of the lower house, or Bundestag, and a member of the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), said integration could only be successful if greater immigrant naturalisation was the goal of migrants as well as German citizens.

“Our problem in Germany is not too high an immigration rate, but rather too little naturalisation,” he said.

The ever-present issue of integration reignited a week ago when the leaders of both the Turkish and Muslim communities in Germany urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to get more personally involved in a national discussion on how to make immigrants, especially young and disillusioned ones, feel more a part of German society.

Immigrants can get citizenship if they are permanent residents and have lived in Germany for eight years, but they must normally give up their existing nationality.

Lammert warned that every society needed “at least a certain degree of common beliefs and directions, without which it loses its cohesion.”

However, the “will on both sides” for greater naturalisation was “not always there in the necessary measure,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann called upon Muslims living in Germany for an “honest dialogue,” adding that the goal had to be a dismantling of the “emotional reservations many citizens have against ever-stronger Islamic influence.”

At the same time, these fears had to be taken seriously, he said. “To defame all criticism of Islam as 'phobia' doesn’t get us anywhere.”

Story continues below…

Lammert also blasted the latest warnings of ''Islamophobia'' in Germany, branding it an “unnecessary dramatisation.”

However he said it was right to say that “many people react with worry and even with growing nervousness to the years-long neglect or trivialisation of the problem, which has doubtless led to the prevention or suppression of the necessary debate on the prospects and risks of multiculturalism.”

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:50 February 14, 2010 by erdinger
Immigrants can get citizenship ......................

My cousin who was born, raised and educated in Germany took a job in America and later got US citizenship. She was trying to get her German citizenship back but was informed that it is not possible. She has plenty of family in Germany, is self substaining and would not be dependant upon the German welfare system. Yet her efforts to move back as a proud German is futile. Maybe she should become an illegal immigrant then apply.
20:07 February 15, 2010 by Talonx
Lammert - Rockin'

Herrmann - Schweinhund
19:47 February 16, 2010 by tollermann
Sounds to me like he needs to prod germans to have children!
22:10 February 16, 2010 by Johnny Cash
Naturalisation worked well in Australia. After a couple of generations everyone becomes an aussie. This was probably the biggest mistake Germany has made in recent times, Not naturalising all the guest workers who were of value to the country and wanted to stay after the last war. By now their kids would be fully intergrated unless of course that great evil religion stood in their way.
14:01 February 18, 2010 by dbert4
I'm more for deportation of foreign criminals. Might not leave some many immigrants to naturalize?
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