Angela Merkel’s attack on “Multikulti” was misjudged? Many believe it wasn’t even tried

Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulating Germany's midfielder Mesut Ozil in the dressing rooms after the Euro 2012 qualifying football match between Germany and Turkey Photo: AFP

Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulating Germany's midfielder Mesut Ozil in the dressing rooms after the Euro 2012 qualifying football match between Germany and Turkey Photo: AFP

The headlines like “Angela Merkel declares the death of German multiculturalism” are all over the internet. One for instance from Telegraph: “Angela Merkel’s attack on “Multikulti” was misjudged: Many believe it wasn’t even tried.”

The failure of a certain ‘multi-kulti’ approach in Germany does not mean the West is wrong to insist on minority inclusion in Southeast Europe, argues Florian Bieber in this article from Balkan Insight. He refers to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel when on 16 October she declared at a congress of the Young Christian Democrats, that “Multiculturalism is dead”. Actually not to be mislead by certain interpretation here is a literally translated quote:

We are a country that invited guest workers to come to Germany in the 1960s. Now they live among us. For a while we kidded ourselves. We said: They won’t stay, they’ll be gone at some point. But that is not the reality. And most certainly the approach failed to say: We’ll do a multi-kulti thing here; we’ll just live next to and detached from each other and declare how happy we are with each other – this approach has failed, utterly failed. Angela Merkel

Germans are not known for their humor, but they do do irony and sarcasm, says Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, the Senior Director for Policy Programs at the German Marshall Fund. “Both traits rarely convey in translation. But the video of the speech reveals that Merkel displayed utter sarcasm when she disparaged the “multi-kulti thing” as a hippie vision of peace, love, and brotherhood, as some sort of German adaptation of a multi-ethnic Haight Ashbury,” says expert.

A FEW months ago Germans were basking in the positive glow cast by their multicultural football team, writes The Economist. They did not quite win the World Cup but did pretty well “with a part-Ghanaian defender, a midfielder with Turkish roots and a striker from Poland”. What a great advertisement for a Germany “open to the world”, the Economist goes on. “Now suddenly the talk is of an immigrant-bashing, Islam-hating Germany nostalgic for the firm leadership of the 1940s. Why? And which is the real Germany?”

Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed that Germany’s multiculturalism “utterly failed” but many Germans whose parents came from Turkey complain that they have never really been made welcome, writes Telegraph.

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source: The Economist

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