Not Enough Immigrants on State Payroll
October 31, 2010 § 4 Comments
(Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday more people of immigrant stock should work for the state in Germany, where a fractious debate about the integration of Muslims has been raging for weeks. Fueled by divisive comments about Turks and Arabs by central banker Thilo Sarrazin and his book “Deutschland schafft sich ab” (Germany does away with itself), the country has been debating how to balance an economic need for more workers with growing public concern over integration of immigrants. Interviewed by a 31-year-old Berlin policeman of Turkish origin for her latest internet podcast four days ahead of an integration summit at her chancellery, Merkel said: “Today, people with a migrant background are under- represented in the public sector, and that needs to change.” However, Merkel — who earlier this month declared that multiculturalism had “utterly failed” in Germany — conceded that this was not always easy. “I’ve also noticed that if someone has a name that doesn’t sound German they can often have trouble being taken on at all in some professions,” the chancellor said. Since Sarrazin inflamed opinion by asserting Turks and Arabs sponged off the state and refused to integrate, some of Merkel’s conservatives become more critical of Muslims, who make up an estimated 4 million of Germany’s 82 million population. Sarrazin was ejected from the board of the Bundesbank for his comments, but his book has been flying off the shelves. Just two months after publication, it is already the best-selling political book by a German author in the country in the past decade.