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Allotment gardeners told to prune racial quotas

The Local · 7 Dec 2011, 12:11

Published: 07 Dec 2011 12:11 GMT+01:00

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The mayor of Norderstedt, near Hamburg, demanded the group drop their “migrant quota” which sets a 12.6 percent limit on what share of the allotment spaces known as Schrebergärten be granted to people of foreign heritage.

The Krengelkrugweg allotment owners voted on a number of proposals at their annual meeting at the end of October – including various suggestions on setting a limit for immigrants, according to the Die Welt newspaper.

Of the 70 people who voted, 59 voted in favour of setting some sort of limit. Of these, five said they favoured a quota of 27 percent – the share of people with foreign backgrounds in Hamburg.

A further 13 voted for a quota of 19.2 percent – the share of minorities in Germany, while 41 carried their motion to set the limit at 12.6 percent – the share of immigrants in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

This means that of the 73 allotments on the project, just nine should be rented to people with foreign roots.

And fittingly, given the stereotype of German allotment owners measuring the height of their neighbours’ lawns and laying down schedules for hedge trimming, the group also set out rules on what kind of foreigners would be allowed to join them.

Of the 12.6 percent of allotments set aside, 25 percent would be granted to those with Turkish or Arabic backgrounds, a further 25 percent given to those with eastern European roots and the other 50 percent for miscellaneous “others.”

Die Welt reported that minutes of the meeting showed that at least some of the allotment owners had opposed the quota idea – and threatened to go public about it. In the end the minutes landed on the desk of Hans-Joachim Grote, mayor of Norderstedt.

He has told the allotment owners that the “migrant limit” must be nipped in the bud because it was discriminatory and unconstitutional. If they refuse, he said he would move to try to kick them off the land, Die Welt reported.

Story continues below…

Along with the Christian Democrat mayor, the Social Democrats, Greens and Free Democrats have all also spoken out – as have the state association of gardeners and the Turkish-German friendship association, the paper said.

The allotment owners are set to hold a special meeting next Thursday to discuss the mayor’s demand that they dump their “migrant limit” and distance themselves from the idea.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:36 December 7, 2011 by supernova
Wow is this really 21st century that we are living in or are the Gerrys not yet aware of the new time?
14:01 December 7, 2011 by GolfAlphaYankee
remind me of one of Lisa Lampanelli lines : (there is nothing worse than calling a Black man the N-word ......there is nothing worst than calling a black man a Neighbor !).

all jokes aside. this really sad !
14:54 December 7, 2011 by catjones
german bigot story du jour.
19:48 December 7, 2011 by wood artist
Sad. Not unique to Germany, but still sad.

19:04 December 9, 2011 by Englishted
Dig below the surface (pun intended) and this goes on in many walks of life but no minutes of the meetings are made public.
09:32 December 12, 2011 by Dizz
Well kudos to the Mayor for doing something about it.
12:59 December 18, 2011 by MichaSeifert-Weiss
Supernova, it's sad that you are writing with a tone of the same bigotry that you criticize others of: The story speaks about a small group of regular folk who share an ignorance easily found anywhere in the world; it also speaks about a mayor and various large leading and influential organisations that have spoken against the discrimination - it does not suggest that Germans as a whole share this stupidity.
09:26 December 19, 2011 by The Man
This is unacceptable in this day and age, but perhaps one example of the type of events going on unknown to the wider public. I suspect that it arises from a sense of resentment at the influx of immigrants affecting the indigenous people's traditional way of life. Although it is important that it be tackled, it must be done constructively so that the resentment already felt by those involved doesn't leave them thinking that they are the second-class citizens powerless to reduce the impact of immigration on their traditional way of life.

This is not just happening in Germany, it is happening right across the EU (and world-wide) so it is a problem that is unlikely to go away any day soon.
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