German central bank votes to exclude disputed member: report

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The German central bank has voted to seek the dismissal of board member Thilo Sarrazin, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported on Thursday, following his latest comments on immigration and Jews.

Deutsche Bundesbank president Axel Weber and the board's four other members agreed unanimously on Wednesday to recommend Sarrazin be dismissed for remarks deeme d rascist, the newspaper said, quoting a source close to the matter.

Details of Sarrazin's departure have not yet been finalised, it added, while a Bundesbank spokesman declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

Sarrazin was expected to appeal the bank's decision, and his dismissal can only be decided by German President Christian Wulff.

In his latest book, "Germany Does Itself In", Sarrazin claims that Muslim immigration and a high birth rate among Turkish immigrants will harm the country's long-term economic potential.

He also said that "all Jews share a certain gene," and that members of the French and Spanish Basque community do as well.

Sarrazin's comments follow previous similarly controversial remarks and have stirred up a hornet's nest, with Chancellor Angela Merkel terming the latest ones "completely unacceptable."

But a significant number of Germans support Sarrazin, citing the lack of will on the part of some immigrants to integrate themselves into German society.

The head of the centre-left Social Democratic Party, of which Sarrazin is a member, said Wednesday he had received a flood of messages backing the controversial figure.

The SPD nonetheless seeks to exclude him as well.

© 2010 AFP

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