• Germany's news in English

Merkel joins Seehofer to bury multiculturalism

The Local · 17 Oct 2010, 14:35

Published: 17 Oct 2010 14:35 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

While warning against "immigration that weighs down on our social system," Merkel said she wanted to see the immigration of highly-specialised experts to continue, backing Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

But Merkel said immigrants had to understand the German legal system and speak the language. The multicultural approach had failed, she told the meeting of the youth wing of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Potsdam.

Yet she referred to Federal President Christian Wulff’s speech where he said that Islam was a valid part of Germany, saying, “Those who ignore the fact that 2,500 Imams conduct their worship in mosques are kidding themselves,” she said.

Merkel’s straddling of the immigration and integration topics mirrored splits within her party.

Education Minister Annette Schavan contradicted Seehofer when she said, “It is not immigration that should agitate us, rather emigration out of Germany. If we don’t do anything against that, the lack of experts here will develop into a brake on economic growth.”

Von der Leyen said she wanted to make it easier for qualified workers to come to Germany to supply the needs of industry. “In any case these highly-qualified people are not waiting in crowds at the border. We have to make efforts to attract them.”

Seehofer, leader of the CDU’s Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union, provoked concern on Saturday when he proclaimed multiculturalism to be dead.

He said the two union parties were committed to a dominant German culture and opposed to a multicultural one, expanding on his recent call to stop Turks and Arabs from moving to Germany.

Yet he said his speech was not a lurch to the right, rather an attempt to "stop the right-wing loonies," he said, adding that "political seducers" must be deterred from parliament by addressing the concerns of voters.

Those who wanted to live in Germany had to be prepared to accept the daily culture of the country, he said, although did not specify how this should be defined.

Merkel spoke a week after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which they pledged to do more to improve the often poor integration record of Germany's 2.5-million-strong Turkish community.

Turkish President Abdullah Gül also spoke this weekend urging Turkish people in Germany to make greater efforts to integrate – particularly in learning German.

"When one doesn't speak the language of the country in which one lives that doesn't serve anyone, neither the person concerned, the country, nor the society," Gül told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"That is why I tell them at every opportunity that they should learn German, and speak it fluently and without an accent. That should start at nurseries."

According to the head of the German chamber of commerce and industry, Hans Heinrich Driftmann, Germany is in urgent need of about 400,000 engineers and qualified workers.

"The lack is causing a loss of growth of about one percent," he said.

Jewish leaders in Germany meanwhile warned that German society and democracy were under threat from extremists.

A recent expert study should prompt the government to act against anti-democratic ideas, the secretary general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Stephan Kramer, told the Rheinpfalz am Sonntag weekly.

Story continues below…

The study, by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation think tank, showed that more than one third (34.3 percent) of those surveyed believed Germany's 16 million immigrants or people with foreign origins came to the country for the social benefits.

Around the same number (35.6 percent) said they thought Germany was being "over-run by foreigners" and more than one in 10 called for a "Führer" to run the country "with a strong hand."

Thirty-two percent of people said they agreed with the statement: "Foreigners should be sent home when jobs are scarce."

Far-right attitudes are found not only at the extremes of German society, but "to a worrying degree at the centre of society," the report noted.

More than half (58.4 percent) of the 2,411 people polled thought the around four million Muslims in Germany should have their religious practices "significantly curbed."


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:04 October 17, 2010 by West_Indian
"Merkel said she wanted to see the immigration of highly-specialised experts to continue."

"Germany is in urgent need of about 400,000 engineers and qualified workers"

They should define "Highly-specialised experts" and the qualifications these 400,000 odd engineers need.

I need to know if I am wasting my time here trying to learn the language and finding a job.
15:23 October 17, 2010 by DinhoPilot

EXACTLY! This is cheap talk once again!

If you know th languge, are a specialized expert does not guarantee you a job. If your name sounds different and they see in your darker skin picture or yellowish,etc... then it's probable you won't be getting the job even if the are not german candidates.

I had the same problem awhile ago, a german friend just said she doesn't understand what's the problem with these people (HR departments in germany), because even with the need of qualified people they rather not hire (even if they advertised and one matches the description closely).

Of course I agree Germans ARE NOT obiglated to hire auslanders be it EU citizens or from elsewhere, but they only easy it for those who want to live from benefit... Duh...
15:50 October 17, 2010 by pepsionice
Around 1994, Bill Gates came and told the education establishment in Germany that they had to pump IT engineer classes. The German university crowd came right back and told Bill Gates that they knew what they were doing, and no American could walk in and make such stupid comments. Eighteen months later, the IT industry in Germany demanded green-cards to bring in twenty thousand IT engineers. To this date....the changes and modifications by the German university system....could be written on a 5x8 inch card.

If Germany wanted to fix their issues....start with cutting the infrastructure demands, then cut taxes. People might find more reasons to have kids then. Then fire a dozen of the major folks who run the university system and demand changes that relate to the modern era, and not the 1970s.
16:04 October 17, 2010 by sean_oye
Well, I can see where Germany is heading.'' back to ... (you know when)'' .I'm a student here in DE.I started to feel a little uneasy due to the recent political event.I hope that it won't get any worst, because when it does, I'm goin out of here.

Germany =! multiculture. To be a multiculture society, that means that u will have all sort of culture in the society ,eg Indian, Chinese, japanese etc. Basicly the german just don't understand what multiculture is. Take UK as an example, you see immigrant at every corner, why? I guess ,I will leave it to you to figure out. Anywhere, as you wish,I'm out of here, once I got the degree.

PS: I like DE in my first year here but things just get too ugly now.
16:06 October 17, 2010 by West_Indian
Ganz einfach: "Deutschland für Deutsche und der Rest muss weggehen". Same should be for German export, should stay right in Germany.

This is so hypocritical, for the World Cup, Merkel was all saying that Germany was so multicultural, "Look at our players" 4-0 De-(Eng, Aus) Toll. Germany came in 3rd, few months later "bury multiculturalism".
16:35 October 17, 2010 by raandy
West Indian that was before she new that popular opinion was moving towards anti immigration...
16:36 October 17, 2010 by DinhoPilot
Multiculturalism is dead... Long live multiculturalism...

Politicians are and will always be hypocrits. Only a fool can rest his/her hope in another mans word.

I bet in one year we will still be talking about this. Mark my comment Local!
16:40 October 17, 2010 by storymann
When I see the Germans do an about face on as serious an like this one I think of what Winston Churchill said about Germans "they are either at your feet or at your throat ."
16:40 October 17, 2010 by bestman
Merkel and Seehofer are right, muliticulturalism is dead for several reasons the first being that many immigrants feel entitled to ignore germany's request to assimilate. Political correctness is a hard imperative to overcome as is the concept that this country must continue to pay for past sins. But to continue to cast a blind eye to this growing problem, however, would be irresponsible in the extreme.
16:40 October 17, 2010 by storymann
oops left of issue
16:57 October 17, 2010 by Aschaffenburgboy
This is crazy.... it is as if Germany has gone backwards 62 years in only a few months. What the hell happened? what triggered this nonsense? The country is doing great economically, no German nationals have been killed by a country of a major immigrant group that dwells in Germany, there haven't been any riots between the classes.... where did this Nazzi talk come from?
17:17 October 17, 2010 by bestman
You can characterize it as "Nazzi talk" Aschaffenburgboy but a lot of us reject that characterization as politically correct nonsense. I prefer to think of the re-examination of the present german multi-culti immigration policy as good sense.
17:35 October 17, 2010 by Frenemy
@storymann: that reminds me of a Polish saying I once heard. Paraphrased: Every 25 years Germany needs to be bombed into oblivion, regardless of what they have done (in order to prevent us from becoming too powerful)! lol
20:09 October 17, 2010 by Aschaffenburgboy
@bestman: If Germany believes it has an immigration problem it is due to the fact that their well-fare laws are to relaxed. Address these, and you will not have an "immigration problem". The problem is this garbage talk such as saying multiculturalism is dead, does take you back to the days of the Nazis. Do you really believe this is the problem? then why the hell do they belong to the EU? I am one that always finds himself defending Germany... I believe Germans have paid enough for their grandparents mistakes, but when they start talking like their great führer did many decades ago... it is just not going to work. Especially since I would be one of the people that finds himself in an oven somewhere in Ausburg.

Germany can reform the well fare system, with laws that applied to lazy stupid immigrants as well as lazy stupid germans alike, and that would be the end of the story. Because what happens if they decide to kick all the nonworking immigrants out? You are still left with a whole bunch of lazy nationals abusing the system.

Can't anyone see this point?
20:13 October 17, 2010 by SanFrancisDude
here's the thing: many people come to Germany just to to get welfare. not to work, not to contribute but to benefit from the social system. I admire Germany for its commitment to social services, but Germany cannot sustain endless drain on those services by groups who are not pursuing education, employment or German-literacy. that equation leads to degradation of the entire society.

and multiculturalism is nonsense. we're not talking about food, clothing or the arts we're talking about the very structure of society and human rights, and if its wrong in Berlin its wrong in Riyadh.
20:16 October 17, 2010 by michael4096
Methinks merkel is just singing for the choir - when are the next elections?

"But to continue to cast a blind eye to this growing problem.."

@bestman - perhaps you can answer the question I have been asking for months: what growing problem? Where is this tremendous upheaval caused by the invading hoards? When I look, I don't see a problem. When The Local looks, they don't see one. When I ask around, nobody sees one. When I ask on this forum I get no answer. But you obviously see a real problem so please let us into the secret: what non-trivial problems are caused by immigrants in germany today?
20:53 October 17, 2010 by crm114
michael, the growing problem is the realisation among western european citizens of the incompatability of islam and western culture. The problem is not with immigration per se, rather with muslims who due to their faith cannot or will not integrate, indeed for muslims true to their faith there can be no integration only assimilation or destruction of the infidels unwilling to submit. The values of our culture are abhorrent to many muslims, a muslim is a muslim first and foremost.

You will not see the problems today or next year but unless steps are taken to resist the islamification of Europe they are on their way. Our politicians are hamstrung by EU legislation and fears of being labelled rascists, particularly in Germany due to its recent history, but the signs are now being shown that politicians can no longer ignore the largely unspoken fears of its citizens.
21:55 October 17, 2010 by West_Indian
@crm114 there are many secular or christian bases nations where the Muslims are 2-10% and are not a problem, where the Muslims contribute to society, well educated and so on. Just that these muslims are not immigrants. The problem Germany is facing is a clash of cultures. Not a clash with islam but a clash with Turkish and Arab cultures.
22:09 October 17, 2010 by Spielplatz.
Interesting choice of photograph...
22:42 October 17, 2010 by ojokojo
very unfortunate the kind of debate going on in Germany. No human being in his or her right senses would even want to depend on welfare/social. If the Arabs or turks have been depending on welfare, we should look deeper to know what caused it.

The fact is that Germany never gave any foreigner the opportunity to grow, the discriminate against little kids right from kindergarten, and at the age their fate of going to university in Germany is sealed. Due to racism and discrimination the foreign born students never made it to university at the end of the day they depend on welfare just as their fathers who sell doner. Now they have seen the impact and the sin they brought upon themselves.

They should come to Canada and see what multicultural society should be. The Muslims, Arabs here contribute a great deal to the Canadian society. Yes , there might be some who depend on welfare, but i can tell you that majority, over 70% her working professionally as doctors,engineers, university professors, this is because, Canadians are welcoming and transparent and not like racist Germany.

The fact remains that Germany is in a big crises on what to do about the lack of skilled labour. In every Germany university if there are 100 phd students 70% are foreigners, immediately after thier masters and phd degrees they take the next avaible flight to Canada, USA, Australia where a professional job is already waiting for them, at the end of the who is the loose and who is the gainer? The only people who would remain are people who are ready to sell doner, and its such people that you want.
22:52 October 17, 2010 by giltedged

"Germany =! multiculture. To be a multiculture society, that means that u will have all sort of culture in the society ,eg Indian, Chinese, japanese etc. Basicly the german just don't understand what multiculture is. Take UK as an example, you see immigrant at every corner, why? I guess ,I will leave it to you to figure out. Anywhere, as you wish,I'm out of here, once I got the degree."

Too right! Why should Germany have multy-kulty! Any more than the bubonic plague. As regards London where I live, let me assure you, I travel by underground every day and am always on the lookout for bearded Muslims with a rucksack. And with good reason. Every month or so some plot is uncovered wherein some group of second-generation Muslim immigrants is trying to blow up our planes, trains, busses, railway stations etc. And yes, London is now Londonstan! Lovely!
23:03 October 17, 2010 by wiserthanmos
Gee, I guess it's hard for some people here to understand that in the democracy the gov't is "from the people, by the people and for the people". When 70% of the people say that the country has a problem with immigrants, you are obligated to act if you are the leaders of that country, period! If you think Ms Merkel is wrong, then you must certainly think That the Multiculturalism in Germany is a success, then there is something you know that the 70% of Germans do not know, please do share that with them! Ah, but in your eyes these 70% of Germans are Nazis, so they must be stupid, they don't know what they talking about, only Liberals like yourself know it better, right? Why is it everytime someone open their mouth about Immigrants then they're either Racists or Nazis? Can't the people express their opinions about their country anymore? Can't the people decide the future of their own country anymore? You feinted heart liberals always using the words "Nazis and Racists"for something you don't like or something you don't undarstand. You do that to shame people to put them down to make them feel nervous, but those days are over, you can't scare them anymore! So, you better sit down and talk to figure it out a solution that can be satified both sides now before thing get out of hand. Nobody wants chaos, and if there is a problem that potentially leads to chaos then we better fix before it's too late.
23:37 October 17, 2010 by giltedged
Everyone KNOWS that multi-kulty is nonsense. Believing Muslims cannot live as Western people because Islam is incompatible with Western culture. People in the Balkans and Southern Europe know this. Germans have seen it at close range these last 30 years.

Now the Germans have the problem of correcting what is wrong. And they should disregard what foreigners say about them be they British, Americans, Muslims pretending to be British and Americans or whatever. And the German people should force their servants, the politicians to get cracking. Which basically means stopping Islamic immigration and sending immigrants back home who are criminals or who milk the system.
23:54 October 17, 2010 by catjones
Muslims are the New York Irish of the 19th century or the Chinese in the American west. The list of scapegoats has no beginning and will have no end. Surely my problems stem not from myself, but from another and that other is always the weaker. Merkel is simply a coward.
00:29 October 18, 2010 by wiserthanmos

Which Irish or Chinese you talking about? The Irish that worked 16 hours a day in the factories or the Irish that cleaned garbage on the streets and doing all kind of dirty works that most natives at that time wouldn't do? Which chinese? The Chinese that worked like slaves to built railroads or the Chinese that were doing laundry in the city of San Francisco? Please, do not compare muslims to these people. America, wasn't a welfare State in 19th century!
00:30 October 18, 2010 by enfanterrible
That is definitely a down side of democracy … if we left it up to the majority and popular opinion to govern our world, we would still have slavery, segregation and rise of oppressive dictators like Hitler who was after all a DEMOCRATICALLY elected leader.

And bringing up the issue of racism and reference to the Third Reich is not about political correctness, but mere a reminder that a society can so easily veer into madness if we are not vigilant of our history, and especially, given the horrific history of Germany, it is shocking to see xenophobic sentiments and attitudes expressed by the majority of Germans … and more alarmingly, the German politicians AGAIN.

Sadly, although SOME German politicians as well as Chancellor Merkel expressed that Germany will welcome highly educated and specialized immigrants, in order for Germany to attract these types of immigrants, there must be an infrastructure and culture in place that would make them feel welcome. Most high-tech engineers and MBA graduates do not want to move and settle in a city … or country for that matter … surrounded by pensioners and where the only form of entertainment is hanging out at the local Biergarten. The reason why most artists and expats are attracted to cities like Frankfurt and Berlin is because of the culture diversity and the infrastructure that the Turkish, Spanish, Chinese, etc immigrants bring.

What most Germans and the German society need to be concerned with is that there is a RAPIDLY aging German population without a system to support it, and an entire generation of multikulti children and young adults who are growing up feeling isolated and distant from the culture of the country in which they were born.

Putting the blame and hatred on immigrants and Turkish community may provide an easy scapegoat and short-term election win, but it will not solve the long-term problem in Germany.
00:32 October 18, 2010 by HollyMacarony
This kind of talk is going to drive away ALL potential immigrants from Germany regardless of their qualification and religion.

And do you Europeans really think you can commit some kind of genocide on Muslims???

Do that and see what happens to Christians in Muslim countries...
00:50 October 18, 2010 by Fruitkok
I thought that only expats read this newspaper. I got really disappointed by your lack of understanding. I am Dutch and we had the same thing going on 10 years ago. Does that make us Nazi's? No, thank god finally someone spoke up. He got shot by the way (Pim Fortuyn). If there is a trade off between no immigrants at all or criminal ones + expats, for me it's easy to make. None at all. However, there's no trade off at all. It's not like the Germans or the Dutch started to dislike Chinese expats. It's just that we are fed up with immigrants from Muslim countries terrorizing our streets. And yes expats, if your unable to understand this logical negative sentiment, I guess you are right to just p*ss off. If we would come to your country and 50% ends up in police records, call your women sluts, don't speak your language after 3 generations, don't share your values and act aggressive, beat up gay guys (in your case little children) you would react the same way.

Merkel is right. It's an ugly truth, but Europe would be much nicer if we would have skipped the 60s and 70s.
04:32 October 18, 2010 by happyez
Hi everyone

Well, from what I have read of statistics, and also in the recent online edition of Der Spiegel, Germany is going to have a big problem in the next 20 years about these specific combination of events:

• an aging population (median age increasing ≈5-10 years)

• stagnant birth rate

• competition on the world market with India, China, Korea and Brasil.

just with those in the country alone.

This means to keep the same system of benefits for all (read: pensions), you have less of a tax base to pay for it.

Less young people, less qualifications/ skilled people.

You could increase the retirement age and push back the pension - but people don't like that.

So, what I pick out from this is- no one likes those who adhere to Islam (for some 'integration' issues). That cuts out a LOT of engineers from across North Africa, Middle East, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. Particularly the 150million Indian Muslims and 120 million Indonesia muslim skillpool.

The only difference between 1933 and 2013 is that:

• the developed world is calling the economic shots more and more

• the EU still stands as an institution, and is unlikely to collapse (but challenged greatly as we can all see)

• the world's eyes pretty much only gaze at Germany (and to a lesser extent France with the Roma kicking-outing. Not Hungary (Jobbik) though, lucky them eh!)

So Germany is in a bind.

The illogical right-wing talk (some call it PC-free) will unlikely attract highly qualified people. They look to Australia, New Zealand and Canada. In Australia, there is racism for sure, but the mining boom has taken off big time, and there is a call for parallel industries to accompany them. That is why Perth in WA is growing at about 9%.

So while all of you lot are talking about 'the problem with Turks etc' (which is an issue), those who are pulling the real levers of power are not letting this dominate their boardroom meetings (imagine it: "OK guys, forget about the OECD report and Finance Department reports on declining economic growth.....we've got to freak out about people not speaking German!". Go on, try to imagine it. Do you really think that that is the number one issue going through their minds?

What I ask of you is: if you were running the Finance Department, Treasury, Dept of Labour, and were confronted by the very real stats that project 20 years ahead, with results leading from, what would you do?

Go on, what would you do?

Then, tell me what the effects upon industry, the EU, the taxbase, Germany's technical standing, and the ability to pay anyone ANY welfare ... lead to.

Very interested to know.
06:36 October 18, 2010 by parografik
Just curious, is there a higher rate of welfare recipients among immigrants than the general population? And I see no issue with a stress being placed on learning the native language. This alone promotes the local culture in a multicultural system.

This topic seems to tie into another that I see as a person considering his job opportunities in Deutschland, and that is the lack of insight the system seems to have on job requirements using foreign credentials. In a global economy this is laughably xenophobic. It reminds me of a story I once read of an American going to teach in Japan, and being repeatedly addressed with a skepticism that anyone might actually be able to learn Japanese. I have experienced this in Germany more times than I can count. Sure, it's a difficult language, but I have met more than a few people who strike me as rather dull, and they seem to express themselves quite well.
09:23 October 18, 2010 by Actuality
Cool it, Beameray, and turn off your caps lock; it makes you look even more of a psychotic neo-nazi than you already are.

I live in Hamburg and it seems pretty peaceful here.

You can't blame people who live in crappy countries wanting a better life for themselves and their families.

Many of the immigrants today are coming in from countries where we in the west are directly responsible for their troubles.

I'm a white Englishman. I can walk down any German street without anybody suspecting I'm foreign.

I'm concerned that in this discussion the subtext always seems to mean "dark-skinned people".

And by the way, after what happened, as you say, 60+ years ago, I think that the Germans should be grateful to have a country and language to call their own, let alone be one of the most comfortably-off countries in the Western world.
09:53 October 18, 2010 by freechoice
What's German culture? The American movies dubbed in German everybody watches on TV or Cinema? Even Turkish watched those! What's German religion? Even more Germans are leaving the church after the children molestation scandals. Youngs are appreciating trash like heavy metals stuffs instead of Baroque and Classical stuffs.

There are millions of Turkish living in Germany, after their ancestors have helped to build the German economy by doing jobs, locals don't even wanted, now you are telling them you are not welcome? Hallo?

The German economy is booming and with a strong Euro, now you want to drop this time bomb on the population to create division and conquer?
10:25 October 18, 2010 by moorekwesi
I decided to post what Angela Merkel said on 21st June,2010 during the world cup tournament.May be we can read it:::

10:39 October 18, 2010 by bestman
The price of stopping the muslim "invasion" of germany might well be a lower living standard Happyez, I don't see anyone denying that. Life sometimes presents hard choices, in this case continuing cheap labor vs. a germany that is recognizable in ten or twenty years. A cruel choice between money and quality of life.
11:07 October 18, 2010 by adipk
@freechoice: you are right, in last 4 years i haven seen German culture accept eating potato and drinking bear. Each day young boys and girls copying American style, eating burgers at rails station. etc @Actuality : you are also right to some extant.

I blame here only to the system, why they give social welfare benefits to the immigrant people. If they dont, no body will come to their country. i am student here and i am full or even sick of this country and their behavior towards other people. I am struggling hard to wind up my foolish decision of studying here.

I have seen discrimination in jobs as well. I have 4 neighbor and all are German people. None of them is working and they are getting social benefits each month. and always blaming foreigners that they took our jobs. but literally they dont want to go. What i see here , wrong system, worst implementation and results is this F%)K debate.
11:10 October 18, 2010 by Talonx
Merkel is a simple-minded opportunistic populist. Fortunately, this sort of populism is only good for keeping her base, the swingers are gonna run right away from this crap.

If they keep towing this line, say goodbye to the cdu/csu domination.
11:58 October 18, 2010 by michael4096
@crm114 - thank you, at least you have thought about the question which is far more than most appear to have

"You will not see the problems today or next year but unless steps are taken to resist the islamification of Europe they are on their way."

You see, this is the problem I have: you say, we don't see the problem but unless we do something dramatic then terrible things will happen in the future. However, muslim immigrants have been coming to this country and other european countries in numbers for over 50 years! One would have thought that if the sky was going to fall in somebody would have noticed by now. The only visible 'problems' are actually caused by those reacting to immigrants, not by the immigrants

Risk management is part of my daily business but if I went to my bosses and said that I want to make substantial, possibly detrimental changes to the enterprise on the basis of the current, real evidence that muslims will be dangerous at some unspecified time in the future, I'd be looking for another job pretty quickly
12:06 October 18, 2010 by mehta_p
In mid 2004 there was SAME news about Germany in Indian newpapers telling about need of Germany for engineers and qualified workers. Still there has been lots of visas and passports issued to refugees, less qualified immigrants and the people who marry first germans here and once they get better status they call their wives from their motherland to stay here in Germany. (these people are already married but show that they are single when they marry german here)

So end of 2004 I got attracted to Germany and studied at well known technical university here. But still my satus is not far better than any refugee who gets visa to stay here.

Many immigrants feel to stay with their people.

their people = people from their motherland and/or their religion

In addition to this in my german language course (at VHS) there are people who are working as labour, can not speak proper english and still holds german PASSPORTS. He proudly says, he is german.

But when somebody from across miles has to define a german which is far different than many 'german-passport' holders today. So if visa-office keep issuing visa for such people in 15-20 yrs we will see a very different kinds of Germans.

That's why what Ms Merkel has commented about 'multiculturalism had failed utterly' is true.

Now what Ms Merkel act according to her comments will be very interesting for me.

Additionally it is shame on turks who are surviving here since yrs and can't teach german properly to their next generation. So that Turkish President had to inform them to learn German.

Be like Germans when you are in Germany - and -

When in Germany, Do as the Germans Do

For immigrants including me - Please don't spoil Germany
12:36 October 18, 2010 by happyez
"Life sometimes presents hard choices, in this case continuing cheap labor vs. a germany that is recognizable in ten or twenty years. A cruel choice between money and quality of life"

Well, that may be highly important for you, but it is a rather abstract fear you have.

"quality of life". Yours? Someone you know?

What will change - the architecture? The transportation system? Or the colour of people and how they go about their lives.

This is what gets me - it's 2010. We have adequate, if not great, access to history. We know that certain attitudes lead to fighting. However, you are choosing to be fearful, and sacrificing Germany's future because of some abstract fear that is hard to quantify, just ...."something".

Well, the bad news for you, likely, is that those in power do not base their policies around your beliefs. Not if Germany wants to have a quality of life. You won't unless you pay attention to what is really going on on the ground.

Want Germans to do ALL of the jobs immigrants do? Then put billions of euros into training every white skinned German to learn a skill that others can do easier. Or coerse others to do the crap jobs Germans won't do. Hmmm you'll be popular.

Immigration allows connection to the rest of the world. Japan has been slipping for 20 years and has no interest in increasing immigration. Germany may head the same way.

Want more Germans? Make women, no FORCE women to become pregnant. Can't do that? Well, then expect a 1.3 per family birth rate.

Your population is getting older. Want to live in a large retirement country? Then no immigration will mean more old people per capita.

Start dealing with these issues, then I know you have Germany's interests at hand. If not, then you don't actually care about the function of this country. It's just for some other reason. Some 'other' reason.
13:29 October 18, 2010 by tallady
" But Merkel said immigrants had to understand the German legal system and speak the language. The multicultural approach had failed, she told the meeting of the youth wing of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Potsdam. "

I know lots of Muslims that speak the language and understand the law..

I would think it is time to try a different approach,,if multiculturalism failed.I do not think you can lay all the fault with the Muslim community. You brought these people here now you have to live with them congenially. Its up to the host nation to find a way. More effort should have been paid out in the beginning of the guest worker program,,,hind sight is always 20/20. New laws by the present conservative movement may stem current immigration but does not address the present failure of muliculturalism.This issue has a long way to go.
13:37 October 18, 2010 by bestman
I have no abstract fears happyez, just the recognition that some hard choices that have come to a boil right now in europe. If things go on as they are now germans will have to face a growing immigrant population, most with little grounding in western ideas of democracy, human rights and freedom of speech (check out the outcry when some journalist tries to criticize islam for instance). Thats not a society I prefer my kids live in no matter how much poorer they might be by not taking the shortsighted advantage of immigrant cheap labor. The price for that cheap labor is the endangerment of western civilization from within, in my opinion. That price is too high no matter what the projected economic cost.
15:02 October 18, 2010 by michael4096
"I have no abstract fears"

Well nobody has been able to point to any real problems to induce real fears.

"..a growing immigrant population, most with little grounding in western ideas of democracy, human rights and freedom of speech.."

Not only rude and arrogant but incorrect. New immigrants are highly grounded in western culture and old immigrants are new germans - isn't that the point

We are all entitled to our opinions and in my opinion, your opinions are way off
15:11 October 18, 2010 by bestman
My opinions are not as "off" as your fantasy that new immigrants are "highly grounded in western culture". What in heaven's name do think the current controversy is all about?
15:45 October 18, 2010 by William Thirteen
as a recent immigrant i find that my knowledge of German history surpasses that of most Germans. In fact, I am beginning to suspect that the ones that need to 'integrated' the most into modern Germany are the Germans themselves!
15:54 October 18, 2010 by michael4096
Today, most immigrants to germany are from eastern europe and countries like india which are highly 'westernised'. Previously, the majority of immigrants came from countries like turkey which also has secular laws not dissimilar from the rest of europe. Few immigrants come from 'sharia' or non-westernised countries and many that do are refugees escaping the system. Or, perhaps you require people to drink beer or something to claim a grounding in western culture.

As far as what the controversy is about, I've been asking for months but nobody has been able to give me any real problems. Just lots of scare-the-children stories about islam as a political ideology - whatever that means. Currently, the 'controversy' seems to revolve around speaking german and nothing at all to do western culture.
17:59 October 18, 2010 by bestman
"I've been asking for months but nobody has been able to give me any real problems."

Well, to begin with, in a study in Berlin, young male immigrants are three times more likely to commit violent crimes than their German peers. There's a multicultural success story.
18:50 October 18, 2010 by lecturenotes2009
the real fact, taken from de spiegel:


As it happens, there is no Muslim immigration to Germany to speak of. In 2009, a total of 721,000 foreigners immigrated to Germany according to the German Federal Statistical Office -- and 734,000 moved away. Of those who arrived, a mere 30,000 were from Turkey, roughly equal to the average number of people of Turkish origin who have left Germany annually in recent years. The rest of the Top Five source countries for immigrants to Germany were Poland, Romania, the United States and Bulgaria, hardly countries known for their outsized Muslim populations.

and talking about Turkish people, there are more going back to their homeland (emmigrating) than coming to Germany.


a la la la...
19:07 October 18, 2010 by michael4096
And, in the US an even higher proportion of african-americans are likely to do so. However, just as it isn't a race problem in the US, it isn't an immigrant problem here.

If you read a Geert Wilders' presentation you'll find passing reference to 70% of crime in Copenhagen commited by muslims. Actually, the problem is even worse with some running street battles between muslims and hells-angels. So why is it buried? Why isn't he shouting it from the rooftops?

Because, this is straight out of West Side Story, Clockwork Orange and 1000 other books and films. It's the backdrop to the fall of the roman republic and 100 other societies before and since. It's socio-economics 101. And, it's mundane. Not a scary unknown. And, certainly not islam as a political ideology.

If you are going to really scare people into being afraid of muslims you must portray them as inhuman but, somehow, there is something very human about a teenage tearaway.

Though, I'm sure you are not trying to scare people in that way.
19:44 October 18, 2010 by bestman
What's frightening about islam is not that its inhuman but that its inhumane and very real. Chopping off of hands, stoning of women, the fatwas of death for perceived slights and other transgressions, etc. etc. Millions of people still hold Islam as divine truth. A lot of these folks in the middle of our society today - THATS scary stuff.
20:19 October 18, 2010 by mmemch
The issue here is not multikulti. It is not islam and christianity either. It is not the ability to learn a language, assimilate, become a real citizen. It is simply economics and demographics. It is the same with germany and turkish people, usa and mexicans, france and algerians etc. I dont see mexicans becoming muslim anytime soon yet the same exact debate goes on there and people talk about mexicans not being able to speak the language and so on. The fact is: when things are good you need uneducated people to do the dirty work, work in your factories, clean your houses etc. You dont care if they speak your language or if they get an education. But they breed faster than you, and they become too many for you to handle, suddenly the economy is not that good either. And what happens: these turks cant speak the language, how dare those dirty uneducated muslim monsters, they dont know how to be like us, they steal our welfare. Unfortunately the fact is both european and american economies are collapsing. Do not worry cause these dirty immigrants will leave soon. Not because they are not wanted, but because they choose to. There is more happening at home. At the moment more turks are emigrating from germany then immigrating. Problem solved
20:31 October 18, 2010 by Johnne

I don´t know if you know that your fore fathers went to colonize those long-beared muslims immigrants in their countries centuries ago? and racism and imperialism playes a big roll in all these. White people should leave the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Carribean, and indeed Hong Kong. They should stop the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and leave Curacao.The UK should hand over the Balkan Islands to Argentina..after that, they need to apologize to Black Africans/Americans for the slave trade; & Germans beg the jews for the Holocaust. Then I think we can start a normal discussion or listen to your stupid complaints.
20:41 October 18, 2010 by mmemch
By the way, for all those who say immigrants are welfare suckimg lazy monsters you should see what is happening in paris now. The hard 35 hour a week working french people have shut down the city completely in protest of working two extra years. The economy and the country is collapsing, you would think these hard working europeans would sacrifice to save their future, yet they refuse to work. I am sorry to say the but i have traveled all around the world and have never seen lazier people than medditerrenean europeans. So think twice before calling arabs lazy, cause your cousins down south like their siesta at least as much if not more. Truth of the matter all around the world is this, anyone who can afford to not work will not work. You work because you need to. If you need moneg and there are jobs you work, if there are no jobs and you need money you take welfare. If there is no welfare you beg. Humans are the same everywhere. So do not go around blaming peoples beliefs and color fornwhat is wrong economically and politically in your country. And yes merkel is a huge racist, at least as much as hitler, for playing the immigrant card to boost her popularity
22:03 October 18, 2010 by michael4096
@bestman - "A lot of these folks in the middle of our society today - THATS scary stuff."

You are about 55 yrs too late - and, wrong ideology
00:46 October 19, 2010 by John Beck
MULTICULTURALISM never existed in Germany. That's a fact and anyone who believes otherwise is either blind or stupid. In my humble opinion, Angela Merkel is a coward for not saying things the way they really are and trying to masking the facts for polling and election purpose. I personally know some foreigners who¦#39;ve lived in Germany since they were little. Went to elementary, junior, high school and even university. They have high diplomas in engineering, education and more. They speak fluent German (better than some stupid native Germans I know) and most of all, these foreign born people look, dress and socialize the same way we do in the west. However, when they apply for a job, unfortunately that job is given to a Blond-Blue-eyed-German-born idiot. Is that the integration this stupid lady is talking about? Of course if you alienate all foreigners, keep good jobs away from them, they will be bound to seek assistance in the form of welfare and there is no one to blame but yourselves. Germany has and always be a racist country and that's just a sad fact. God bless...
01:14 October 19, 2010 by DinhoPilot

Super props to you! I couldn't have said it better. I'm from southern Europe and I don't mind admitting I love the siesta! But in the cold of germany is just hard and since there are so many taxes to pay there is no way to slack off... I never lived from welfare or any state benefit but I must admit that feels easier the thought of staying home and getting paid than to go work and get the same. This is another german problem.... Who would want to put their butt in the german winter cold doing something, when they could be sitting at home having koffe and kuchen for the same amount of cash? not even germans would! We need to motivate people (or force them) to be productive
02:34 October 19, 2010 by bestman
I'm afraid to say that John Beck has it about right. Immigrants were imported into germany to breed like cattle because germans didn't want to have enough kids to replace themselves in the work force. Most of the better jobs are reserved for germans themselves understandably, its their country after all. But the joke is on them because it turns out much of the imported labor is not interested in integrating. Now they are trying to close the barn door after the horse of virtually unrestricted immigration has been stolen.

The future has already been written in the shortsighted policies of the past. The choice was cheap money via cheap labor or safeguarding german identity with a more modest immigration scheme. The result is a rising din from folks who should feel lucky to be in germany but instead display a total lack of respect by refusing to integrate. Poor Angela is just finding out now that things aren't working? I suspect they knew it all along.
09:53 October 19, 2010 by mehta_p
MULTICULTURALISM is present in Germany. Germans do like to have talk about different cultures, work, people, sport, religions and happily get involved with foreigners, not only in Germany but anywhere in the world. Germans do respect other culture, religion. You just have to take initiation to understand them and not otherway around when you are in Germany. As not-every german do speak foreign languages, especially English, so it would be better if we, immigrants, speak better german.

Many cities and towns do conduct various cultural programs, organise big shows where they invite foreign groups to show their tallent and culture.

I am not good at german, but still many germans and immigrants keep me motivating to communicate in german. So that I do meet them very frequently, do exchange our knowledge, thoughts, culture.

But still MULTICULTURALISM is failed in Germany as second most community, muslims, don't response to get involved with germans. It should not be otherway around.

We meet millions of muslims from various countries and can see very successful German-muslims, Indian-muslims, American-Muslims on international level which has been possible ONLY because of initiation and tolerance from those countries which have accepted those muslims.

But we hardly hear success stories about any arabian-christians, iranian-hindu, pakistani-buddha or any other combination.

Here I can clearly see that there is only unidirectional acceptance from different religions to accept muslims but in islamic countries such acceptance never happened, is not happening and can't foresee if it happens in future.
15:50 October 19, 2010 by Beachrider
Sounds like Germany elected the intellectual equivalent of George W. Bush.

Rotsa Ruck!
02:40 October 20, 2010 by Bruno53
Multiculturalism FAILS in places with long known hostility toward minorities for a long time. USA has failed partially, and in that country, only a few decades ago, Blacks were "hunted" like animals. In Germany it is trying to escape the legacy of the Nazi mass murders of Jews. And now some Germans "claim" it is not "working". Now, multiculturalism has not provoked the same "rejection" in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Why? Can you answer me that?
10:13 October 20, 2010 by storymann
Bruno53 Multiculturalism in New Zealand is a failure,Australia now has the strongest anti immigration laws in the 1st world,, Canada has never come to terms with its Anglo-Franco . they are not good examples of integration..
14:01 October 20, 2010 by tallady
You can not compare Canada,NewZealand,America, Australia with European countries.All those countries were settled by immigrants mostly from Europe.They are all immigrant nations that disposed of the indigenous populations when they settled.

Europe is old in its languages and customs ,if you have lived in Germany for very long you realize that when you immigrate to Germany you will never be German,maybe you will acquire a German passport but truth is you do not have a family book or German lineage. Acceptance is the best you will get. This is not going to change in any significant way.Multiculturalism never existed here.Germans may say that you can stay and give you employment but you are not a Real German you are only a German national even if you get a reisepass.
17:37 October 22, 2010 by SWB123
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
03:13 October 25, 2010 by reich1900
The problem is politically correct nonsense rather than reality. If you came to Germany just for the work then you are a guest and should expect to leave when your no longer needed. However, if your reason to immigrated is too become a German then you have to give up most if not all your foreign culture and learn the German language, laws and do as the rest of the population. Become a German. Germany is not a multicultural society nor should it be and that same goes for the rest of the European countries, they each have their own culture. How many Arab countries welcome Westerners bringing their culture to their country, I say none. I live in the USA , came here from Germany and am now an American. I still enjoy my heritage but I'm 100% American and an Air Force vet that fought for his country the USA. My German parents brought me here for the freedom that is America and for that I'm grateful. America is truly a multicultural nation but it was found that way and thats why it works so well. I't wasn't easy being German here after the war but if you want something bad enough then you have give up something and work at proving your worth and loyalty to your new country.
Today's headlines
Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd