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Sarrazin pardon sparks fierce SPD backlash

The Local · 26 Apr 2011, 08:32

Published: 26 Apr 2011 08:32 GMT+02:00

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Prominent Social Democratic Party (SPD) politicians across the country have begun to air their deep dissatisfaction over the party leadership’s decision, announced last Thursday, to abandon expulsion proceedings against the former Bundesbank board member and Berlin finance minister.

Sarrazin has carved out a new career for himself as an outspoken critic of Islam and immigration. He has warned both in a best-selling book and in regular commentary that Muslim immigrants are in danger of dragging Germany down.

“The solid relationship we have painstakingly built with the immigrant community is threatening to come apart,” the party’s chief in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Nils Schmid, told news magazine Der Spiegel on Tuesday.

“The meagre (party) statement is unsatisfactory. His biological claptrap was the basis of our accusation that he was behaving in a way that damaged the party. He has not distanced himself from that.”

SPD Berlin head Michael Müller told reporters he had hoped for a “clear and unambiguous judgement.”

Bundestag MP Ernst Dieter Rossmann warned in the Passauer Neue Presse that Sarrazin must not be allowed “the freedom to do whatever he wants.”

Sergey Lagodinsky, founder of the Working Group of Jewish Social Democrats, announced he was quitting the party in protest, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. In a letter to SPD general secretary Andrea Nahles he wrote that “as a Jewish person” he had seen the possibility “to revive the long tradition of Jews in Germany, together with other minorities and the majority in our country.”

This hope was however now dashed, he wrote.

Story continues below…

Sarrazin himself described the decision as a “victory for common sense.” He had insisted he did not mean to breach any basic social democratic principles not discriminate against any migrant.

The leadership group will on Tuesday hold a special meeting to discuss the backlash.

DAPD/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:08 April 26, 2011 by catjones
german soap opera.
09:52 April 26, 2011 by Student_LU
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
11:18 April 26, 2011 by pepsionice
They can't kick him out because over half their working-class membership tends to agree with what he says. If you brought in 100 middle-class working people, from all political parties....a good two-thirds agree with his comments.
11:37 April 26, 2011 by Angry Ami
Why should he be kicked out just because of his opinion, there is "meinungsfreheit" here, and what politician doesn't put his foot in his mouth, and some of what he say is certainly true, but of course German politicians have to be very careful about what they say so as not to raise the spectre of nationalism, so they pander to the very groups that spit in their faces.
12:38 April 26, 2011 by wpfaeffle
Why does he want to stay in the SPD anyway? The FDP would be a better home for him.
13:03 April 26, 2011 by FredFinger
When you're right you're right. Even the SPD realizes this.
16:31 April 26, 2011 by melbournite
I just spent yesterday at the Neuengamme KZ. One of the prisoner classifications was "emmigrant" (blue triangle). I say no tolerance for such views
16:08 May 2, 2011 by Katzerina
The FDP would be a better fit? Because they have questions about unregulated immigration? The issue with Sarazin has to do with his "biology based" critique...and not solely on the issue of immigration. And yes, most left of center "workers" would tend to agree with his assessment. The sticky question, is one of integration and not immigration. It's always been curious to me that "nationalism" is used as the meter for left/right on the political spectrum in Germany. Really the meter should reflect who controls the means of production. Generally speaking, the far left wants total control by a centralized state, and the further right you migrate would reflect a lessening of control. Nationalism in itself says nothing about the role of government, considering the National socialists controlled the economy and directed the means of production even if they didn't outrightly "own" it. In terms of nationalism, the former soviets while considering themselves "communists" were fervent nationalists. Are the Chinese or North Koreans any different? Perhaps it would be useful to equate "nationalism" with totalitarianism, and recongize that this is a left wing structure of government. Those of us pining away for deregulation, are generally NOT on the left.
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