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Multiculturalism has failed in Germany

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Multiculturalism in Germany has "utterly failed", according to Chancellor Angela Merkel in comments likely to spark debate on immigration policy.


The attempt to get natives to live peacefully side by side with foreigners has not worked, the conservative leader told a meeting of her political party in Potsdam.


Ms Merkel's comments follow a recent think-tank survey that found more than a third of Germans believe the country is being "overrun" by immigrants.


The study, by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, also noted that far-right attitudes were not isolated at the extremes of German society, but "to a worrying degree at the centre of (it)".


In August Thilo Sarrazin, then a board member of Germany's central bank, published a book in which he claimed the country was becoming less intelligent because of Muslim immigrants.


Population figures show some four million Muslims now call Germany home.


"We are a country which at the beginning of the 1960s actually brought guest workers to Germany," Ms Merkel told young members of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU).


"Now they live with us and we lied to ourselves for a while, saying that they won't stay and that they will have disappeared again one day.


"That's not the reality. This (multicultural) approach - saying that we simply live side by side and are happy about each other - this approach has failed, utterly failed."


In the past Ms Merkel has told Germans they must accept that mosques have become part of their landscape.


But pressure from within the CDU over integration may have prompted her to take a tougher line.


The Chancellor added too little has been required of immigrants and they should be compelled to learn German.


"We should not be a country either which gives the impression to the outside world that those who don't speak German immediately or who were not raised speaking German are not welcome here," she said.


"That would do great damage to our country. Companies will go elsewhere because they won't find the people to work here anymore.


"That means that the demand for integration is one of our key tasks for the times to come.


"At the same time, it must be a trademark of Germany to be a country which gives people in our country an opportunity."


The debate over immigration is important in a country that remains economically competitive thanks to skilled foreign labour.


According to the head of the German chamber of commerce and industry, Hans Heinrich Driftmann, Germany is in urgent need of about 400,000 engineers and qualified workers.

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I still think that apart from some enclaves in places like Blackburn. Oldham and Bradford, immigrants to the UK are integrated to a pretty decent level so I've never understood the pursuit of multi-culturism so strongly. If it just means not forcing people to give up their identities then I don't see it as a failure.


Having said that I would still remove exemptions from laws like Kosher/Halal slaughter.

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