German Bundesbank member accused of racism resigns
Germany's Bundesbank announced late Thursday the resignation of controversial central bank board member Thilo Sarrazin, who has been accused of making racist remarks in a book published last month.
"The Bundesbank board and its member Thilo Sarrazin are aware of their responsibilies to the institution of the Bundesbank. Given the public debate (about Sarrazin's book), the parties concerned are going, of mutual accord, to end their cooperation at the end of the month," the central bank said on its Internet site Thursday evening.
The Bundesbank, based in Frankfort, added that it has consequently "withdrawn its request" for the country's president to fire Sarrazin after he called immigrants unproductive and said that Jews had a special "gene".
In his new book, "Germany Does Itself In", Sarrazin said Muslim immigration and a high birth rate among Turkish immigrants would end up impoverishing Europe's biggest economy.
He also told a newspaper that "all Jews share a certain gene", a property he said was shared by the Basques. The comments have seen him widely branded as racist and anti-Semitic.
"Sarrazin asked the federal president to release him from his mandate (at the bank). The Bundesbank board thanks Mr. Sarrazin for the work he has done" at the bank, the central bank's statement added.
© 2010 AFP