Merkel says German multicultural society has failed

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Xaos, Oct 16, 2010.

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  1. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    Attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed", Chancellor Angela Merkel says.

    In a speech in Potsdam, she said the so-called "multikulti" concept - where people would "live side-by-side" happily - did not work.

    Mrs Merkel's comments come amid recent outpourings of strong anti-immigrant feeling from mainstream politicians.

    A recent survey showed that more than 30% of Germans believed Germany was "overrun by foreigners".

    The study - by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation think-tank - also showed that roughly the same number thought that some 16 million of Germany's immigrants or people with foreign origins had come to the country for the social benefits.

    Foreign workers

    Mrs Merkel told a gathering of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Saturday that at "the beginning of the 60s our country called the foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country... We kidded ourselves a while, we said: 'They won't stay, sometime they will be gone', but this isn't reality.

    "And of course, the approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other... has failed, utterly failed."

    In her speech, the chancellor specifically referred to recent comments by German President Christian Wulff who said that Islam was "part of Germany" like Christianity and Judaism.

    While acknowledging that this was the case, Mrs Merkel stressed that immigrants living in Germany needed to do more to integrate, including learning to speak German.

    "Anyone who does not immediately speak German", she said, "is not welcome".

    Her comments come a week after she held talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which the two leaders pledged to do more to improve the often poor integration record of Germany's estimated 2.5 million-strong Turkish community.

    Earlier this week, Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, CSU, said about integration that it was "obvious that immigrants from different cultures like Turkey and Arab countries, all in all, find it harder".

    "'Multikulti' is dead," Mr Seehofer said.

    In August, Thilo Sarrazin, a senior official at Germany's central, said that "no immigrant group other than Muslims is so strongly connected with claims on the welfare state and crime". Mr Sarrazin has since resigned.

    Such recent strong anti-immigrant feelings from mainstream politicians come amid an anger in Germany about high unemployment, even if the economy is growing faster than those of its rivals, the BBC's Stephen Evans in Berlin says.

    Our correspondent adds that there also seems to be a new strident tone in the country, perhaps leading to less reticence about no-go-areas of the past.
  2. perry_mason

    perry_mason Well-Known Member

    it true but im sure she will get called 'racist' etc for saying so.
  3. Mordeci

    Mordeci Banned Member

    Never been to Germany and I dont know much about modern Germany, but on face vaule I believe a mulitcultrual socitey can most places in any country, and yes thoese comments do sound really stupid
  4. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    pretty much :D
  5. Domo

    Domo Well-Known Member

    Strident tone...for fucks sake... :rolleyes:

    I'm glad they are finally saying it how it is. Too long they have been scared of offending anyone and resulted in the immigrants walking all over them.

    I'm all for mulitculturalism, i live in Australia. But people throw around the word rascist too easily these days and everyone has gone painfully sensitive.
  6. Mordeci

    Mordeci Banned Member

    look we have a similar problem here in America with immigrants from Mexico, but there are ways you go about saying it, "We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don't accept them don't have a place here." sounds a little bigoted to me. Like I said I believe a multicultral society can work, and I don't see why it cant work in Germany.
  7. Domo

    Domo Well-Known Member

    Yeah and i am from Australia, we are a mixed bad if there ever was one.

    I am sure it could work in Germany. But good on them for not fucking sugar coating everything. I am all for tact and i find that these comments are just saying it how it is.

    I have no qualms with them trying to protect their culture. The Germans have got it right and they have a reason to be arrogant as far as i am concerned.
  8. Hache

    Hache Well-Known Member

    It is difficult for them to come over and embrace porn, heavy metal, sluts and homersexuality.
  9. Domo

    Domo Well-Known Member

    Oh fuck off you ignorant prick
  10. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    It all comes down to the fact that Germany is a nation state. It was expressly created as a homeland for a single linguistic and ethnic group, and thus has no intrinsic sense of multiculturalism or diversity. The same goes for nearly every country in Europe, which all center around a specific nationality, language, or historical identity (if not all of the above).

    Furthermore, there is the issue of history. These countries have a lineage and culture that stretch back hundreds of years. They have no history of assimilating foreign cultures, especially when theirs is so strong and skin deep. The reason the US, Australia, and Canada remain the major recipients of immigrants is precisely because they lack these qualities (at least to the same extent). Plus, it helps that they were actually formed by - and thus accustomed too - immigration.

    Germany needed these immigrants to rebuild itself following World War II. They had no intention of ever keeping them. Continued immigration and settlement just sort of happened without anyone ever really trying to deal with it - hence why it's only been now, with things so tough, that they're finally having dialogue about it.

    The fact is, however, that Germany still needs it's immigrants. The country is ageing rapidly and it's birth rate is among the lowest in the world. It's workforce has already peaked, and is beginning to decline in many industries. The only way to prop up their population and thus their economy is to take in more immigrants. And the only way to do that would be to somehow work things out with them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2010
  11. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Toronto is often hailed as the world's most multi-cultural, and I've yet to come across trouble with people that don't speak enough English to do their job. I actually love that I can find good, authentic food from most any culture in the world sitting around on some street corner or another.

    I find it sad how few people have had Ethiopian, Turkish or Vietnamese food.

    I've never really understood this idea that countries so willing to admit following tradition blindly is bad, and therefore allowing homosexuality, often yell about their culture dying like it's the end of the world: They just admitted social customs of antiquity are not inherently valuable and now they're yelling about losing it? They need to fuck off. I know someone that moved to Toronto from the US for no other purpose than to escape the 'DEY TUK URR JEERRBS!' panic about Mexicans.
  12. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    I'd say that multiculturalism has been a massive sucess, in the more litteral sense of the word of having multiple cultures. That they dont want intergrate properly is no suprise.
    Anecdotaly though, I have a Turkish friend in Germany who was born, raised, educated, married to a German woman, is in his 12 year of service for the police and became an Athiest but he still identifies himself as a Turk.
    If I argue his response is always "Well we will go out in plain clothes, you keep your mouth shut and Ill ask which of the two of us do you think is German".

    I still believe very much that multiculturalism is very possible, even if I hate the word though however the only way its possible is if the people your trying to integrate speak the language and are in friendly contact with people from culture theyre trying to ingrate too.
    I think multiculturalism for me is that here in Uni, I can talk, laugh and joke with an Indian friend of mine without thinking about such things and not blink an eye when they say I have to go now, I have a hindu ceramony with my parents.
    That or sitting last night in a flat kitchen with two chinese people, an Italian and a Latvian and everyone cooking and sharing their own food.
    On Merkle though, even if she may be right I would take anything she says with a grain of salt.

    Edit - I dont know if the comments on gays are serious, at least I hope not but I wish these veiws could get flushed away with the rest of these religious throwbacks that divide men and make this world a little less pleasent to live in.
  13. Hache

    Hache Well-Known Member

    I guess some people weren't born with a sense of humour
  14. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    I completely agree, especially with respect to the double-standard about presumably moving past the very culture that's being jealously defended. This seems to coincide with a general sense of insecurity about one's nation: people are gripped with anxiety about all the changes that are occurring, and therefore cling to what they know and feel comfortable with.

    Culture itself is a very intangible and malleable concept, and more often than not highly influenced by a number of different sources, including foreign ideas, values, and traditions. European countries share a lot of similar traditions to one another, and it's therefore clear that the main concern has to do with non-Western cultures and peoples specifically, since they're far more foreign.

    What is interesting is that in countries that are rather accepting of immigration and diversity, such as Canada, which enshrines it in it's Constitution, there seems to be few systemic problems with integration; it is often with countries that aren't so accommodating that one finds so much ethnic stratification, mutual distrust, and a lack of assimilation. It's essentially a casual dilemma.

    Well said Issaccs, I agree.
  15. Domo

    Domo Well-Known Member

    I have a very healthy sense of humour...what you said, was simply not funny in my opinion.

    There is also a time and a place to make jokes.
  16. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Unlike Lovecraft, I have encountered many people in Toronto who do not speak sufficient English, especially in my search for the evasive garlic chive - but there's two things: they only don't speak English because they don't need to 99% of the time, and their children invariably do speak English. Perfect integration never happens first generation, and it really doesn't need to.
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