'Sarrazin affair' opens can of worms in Germany

'Sarrazin affair' opens can of worms in Germany

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The resignation of a controversial German central banker came as a relief Friday for Chancellor Angela Merkel's government but his comments on immigration have opened a Pandora's Box.

Considerable public support for Thilo Sarrazin have revealed that there is potential for a new political party for voters uneasy about the presence of some four million Muslims in their midst, analysts say.

"The parties are in trouble because the issue of integration has been swept under the carpet," political scientist Gero Neugebauer told AFP.

The Bundesbank central bank said in a surprise statement late on Thursday that Sarrazin would clear his desk in Frankfurt by the end of the month "by mutual accord."

Germany, Berlin : German central Bank (Bundesbank) board member Thilo Sarrazin, walks down down a street after taking part a radio discussion on 6 September 2010 in Berlin.

The bank had previously wanted the German president to fire Sarrazin, as it is unable to do so itself, but Sarrazin showed no signs of going quietly, threatening to challenge any dismissal in court.

"The president and the government can now breathe a sigh of relief," Oskar Niedermayer, political scientist at Berlin's Free University, told AFP.

The furore followed the publication of a new book by Sarrazin, 'Germany Does Itself In', that said that Germany was being made "more stupid" by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim immigrants and their numerous offspring.

"If I want to hear the muezzin's call to prayer, then I'll go to the Orient," he says in the book, saying that allowing in millions of "guest workers" in the 1960s and 1970s was a "gigantic error".

The banker, who is on the cover of the influential Spiegel weekly this week with the headline "people's hero", also told a newspaper that "all Jews share a certain gene", a property he said was shared by Basques.

Surveys have indicated that Sarrazin's opinions on the integration of Muslims enjoy considerable sympathy, and his book is a best-seller.

The central committee of the centre-left opposition party the Social Democrats (SPD) has moved to expel him, but has been inundated with messages of support for the banker, who has refused to leave the party.

On Thursday at a reading of his book many of the 750-strong audience gave him a standing ovation, reports said.

Germany, Potsdam : German central bank board member Thilo Sarrazin speaks during the presentation of his book "Germany Does Itself In"

The German government admits meanwhile that its record on integrating immigrants into society has been less than perfect, and this week published a national integration programme.

Figures show immigrants and their children perform worse at school than Germans, have higher rates of unemployment and are more likely to be below the poverty line.

Backing for Sarrazin is so strong that a survey this month indicated that if he set up his own new political party, almost one in five (18 percent) would vote for him.

Sarrazin has no intention of starting a party, but the survey raised fears that a charismatic populist in Germany, like anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, could win considerable support.

"Opinion polls have indicated that there is enough potential support for a new political party," Niedermayer said. "I am firmly convinced that there is a large enough voter potential from people who are more conservative."

For now, however, there is no unified movement and no figure has emerged to lead it. It would also require considerable finance and organisation to break through at the national level in Germany's federal system.

"And any new party would only have a chance if it clearly distances itself from the far-right or crude anti-Islamists, and that is not easy," Niedermayer said. "Just having the voter potential is not enough."

AFP/ Simon Sturdee/ Expatica

2 Comments To This Article

  • Bryan Thomas posted:

    on 23rd September 2010, 16:33:41 - Reply

    Mr Sarrazin is repeating the concerns which Birtish MP, Enoch Powell, in 1968 voiced about the influx of foreign, non-Christian immigrants into England. How right he has been proved today.
  • Satish Chandra posted:

    on 13th September 2010, 08:04:55 - Reply

    I am India's expert in strategic defence, the father of India's strategic program, including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and the world's greatest behavioral scientist, acknowledged in such terms (my biography is in Marquis' Who's Who in America, 2010 and earlier editions and Marquis' Who's Who in the World, 2010 and earlier editions). A radical reformulation of genetics is in my blog titled 'Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.', which can be found by a Yahoo search with the title and discussions of genetic superiority-inferiority such as the genetic inferiority of whites compared to Indians (this inferiority of whites was acknowledged by B. F. Skinner, voted by American psychology department chairpersons as one of the two most influential psychologists of all time; see my letter to the press dated April 28, 2006 in my blog), including Indian Muslims. This is what I wrote in a published letter, dated July 21, 2001, to the U.S. press:
    "Dear Editor: The "village idiot" [as a New York Times columnist called him] in the White House, while building a National Missile Defense, plans to bring the number of U.S. strategic warheads down to perhaps 1,500 or even less. A decade ago, Israel's nuclear arsenal was estimated at close to a thousand warheads and now it is probably more. Israel has nuclear-armed cruise missiles with ranges in the thousands of miles on naval vessels. It was said a decade ago that Israel can do whatever the U.S. and Russia can do with nuclear weapons. A world in which Israel has as many, or more, nuclear warheads as the U.S. or Russia is not a world anyone would want to live in. A prime minister of India (P. V. Narasimha Rao) said the nuclear weapons in the world were enough to destroy the world 20,000 times over. Though mistaken, this statement illustrated what has kept the world from dissolving into chaos. The Israelis are less stupid than India's prime ministers and a world in which their nuclear strength is greater than that of the U.S. or Russia (by controlling the U.S., they in effect control the U.S. arsenal also and their control increases with time) will be a world of unimaginable evil. The U.S. and Russia should be building UP their nuclear arsenals (with weapons of a different kind), not building them down and, even more importantly, removing the control of Israel and its friends over the United States ...". In another published letter, dated August 1, 2001, I added: "As a result of the above letter, "...the administration has indefinitely deferred seeking Senate ratification of...the 1993 nuclear weapons reduction treaty with Russia..." (New York Times, July 29 '01, page 14 wk, editorial)".
    In a published letter, dated September 15, 2001, to the U.S. press, I wrote: "The worst act of terrorism against the United States is the planting of nuclear weapons in the largest U. S. cities by Israel and its friends in the U. S. (see letters below) and those who harbor them are the worst enemies of the United States. There is a leadership vacuum in Washington and the military ought to fill it. If there are any patriots in the U. S. Congress who would like to impeach this president for high treason, they should speak up. This president's heart may be in the right place ( see the New York Times, September 15 '01, page A15 ) but he is a captive of Israel and its friends in the U. S. and has no freedom of speech or action. All countries in the world should provide their air space and basing facilities to U. S. forces moving to strike Israel. An international police force under U. N. auspices should be readied to take control of Washington, if necessary, to prevent mischief by Israel and its friends in the U. S." In a published letter dated May 9, 2001 to the U.S. press, I wrote: "Dear Editor: Giving the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] the task of dealing with nuclear terrorism is fine and good. If it is known that bombs have been planted under the World Trade Center, the first thing to do will be to evacuate the building. It is a certainty that New York City is the first of the largest cities in which Israel and its friends in the U.S. have planted nuclear bombs (see below). Before evacuating New York City or Washington, an effort ought to be made to trace the bombs. Seymour Hersh (see below) ought to be asked what he knows about the locations of the bombs, from whom he learnt of them, who else knows about them (certainly, people at the New York Times will know about them, as will heads of major organizations that are friends of Israel)--and all those people should be asked the same questions. To generate the necessary pressure on Israel's friends in the U.S.--so they will be forthcoming with information--the media blackout of the matter will have to be ended. The emphasis should be on locating the bombs, not dealing with the effects of the explosions after they have gone off (as FEMA would do)". In a published letter, dated, May 19, 2001, to the U.S. press I wrote: "The exceedingly coy approach of politicians to this foremost of all security issues (above) shows that the armed forces will have to take the initiative in the matter. Sen. Kennedy urged (on NBC 'Meet the Press' on May 13 '01) paying "greater heed to nuclear terrorism"--meaning the matter above-- than to missile defense (have any envoys been sent regarding it around the world?) but his is a voice in the wilderness. The military can step in (see letter dated November 21 '00, below) simply via INFORMATION--thoroughly inform and educate current and past military personnel in the above matter and reach out to the public at large via its own media--print, radio and ads in the general media (such as "Do you know nuclear weapons have been planted in New York City and Washington, D.C. by U.S. enemies?")". In a published letter, dated May 25, 2001, to the U.S. press, I wrote: "The soon-to-be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee is someone almost certainly involved in the planting of nuclear bombs in the largest U.S. cities. Let us hear something about it from Mr. Bush, from the armed forces, from the press. Mr. Bush has often made a point of emphasising that he is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. As such, is it not his obligation to ensure that the chairmanship of the Senate Armed Services Committee does not go to someone involved in planting nuclear bombs in the largest U.S. cities? It is well within his power to ensure this does not occur. No such person should even be a member of the Armed Services Committee. Or of the U.S. Senate. Mr. Bush should have refused to accept an honorary doctorate from Yale which is headed by a member of a criminal group, or have his wife stay at his home, or provide Federal funds to it and other such universities. He should return the honorary doctorate given to him. Mr. Bush belittled the importance of titles while paying tribute to a Texas "kingmaker" but does he not know how the kingmaker he had in mind (see letters dated April 13 '01 and February 16 '01, below) lives? Which of the "desperate rationalizations"--as the New York Times called them--will he offer now? While Mr. Bush has been making his "Jew-free Cabinet" (see letter dated February 16 '01), this criminal group has been grabbing presidentships of the major universities in the Northeast and elsewhere (see Addendum dated December 12 '00, below). If he steadfastly refrains from appointing a single member of this criminal group to his administration, it will matter; otherwise his "Jew-free Cabinet" is mere tokenism and will make no difference to the ever increasing control of the United States by this criminal group". In a published letter, dated May 28, 2001, to the U.S. press, I wrote: "There should be no transfer of the Senate's committee chairmanships, etc., until the issue of the membership of the Senate of those involved in planting nuclear bombs in the largest U.S. cities has been resolved. The executive branch can take action that will lead to the end of the membership of the U.S. Senate of such persons. If they so wish, the concerned committees of the Senate can also start hearings on the continued Senate membership of such persons and their possible expulsion. But the executive branch can act whether or not the Senate does. With all his talk of humility, Mr. Bush may need a reminder that he is now co-equal on the one hand with the Supreme Court and, on the other, with both houses of Congress combined. Since the power of the state is the power to compel, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces his power is even greater." In a published letter, dated February 22, 2001, to the U.S. press, I wrote: "When the U. S. Secretary of State goes to Israel, he will talk about 'releasing taxes to Palestinians'. Should he not talk about Israel's planting of nuclear weapons in U. S. cities?" In a published letter, dated February 16, 2001, to the U.S. press, I wrote :"On February 14, Mr. Bush said "The National Guard and reservists will be more involved in homeland security, confronting acts of terror and disorder our enemies may try to create", getting ready to 'confront' the planting of nuclear weapons in the largest U. S. cities by Israel and its friends in the U. S. (letter dated January 17, '01, below). But the very next day he slid back and said what he said before (see letter dated January 27 '01, below): "America will set its own priorities, so that they're not set by our adversaries or the crisis of the moment". Clearly, Mr. Bush is a puppet in the hands of his staff and the briefing--not the "crisis"--of the day. Were Lincoln and Washington such puppets? Mr. Bush seems incapable of providing leadership; it remains to be seen if the U. S. Senate can (Gen. Powell can but he is not president). The purpose of my letter dated November 21 '00, below, was to prevent the ethnic group referred to there gaining formal control of the United States. Mr. Bush becoming president has to be an interim step (Mr. Bush and his associates know that the fact that he is president is due to the letters below as, for example, was "the huge Christmas tree" in the Texas House of Representatives chamber from where he addressed the nation--see Addendum dated December 17 '00 to letter dated December 5 '00 below-- and the "Jew-free Cabinet" referred to by a columnist in New York Post of January 3 '01; see letter dated December 5 '00 below)." In a published letter dated February 7, 2001, to the U.S. press, I wrote: "Mr. Bush has defined his "adversaries" strictly by race