The New German Question (III)

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The debate taking place in Berlin, concerning an end of the "European order established with the Maastricht Treaty," is accompanied by wide-ranging reflections on a domestic reorganization of Germany. As the German chancellor announced in her address to the "Integration Summit" yesterday, immigrants, who do not take advantage of the integration offers, will have to expect sanctions, which increases the pressure, particularly on the immigrant lower classes, who are, momentarily, the focus of a racist campaign ("the Sarrazin Debate"). Several more far-reaching demands are being raised. For some in the Berlin establishment, none of these steps explicitly directed at alleged unproductive groups in the population, have gone far enough. A high-ranking advisor to the German Council on Foreign Affairs (DGAP), for example, is quoted saying that "drastic measures," that "will be unacceptable to the current generation of politicians," must be taken against the immigrants. The considerations aimed at promoting Germany's domestic restructuring are flanking a debate on a possible end of the European Union, and on Berlin's eventual unilateral attempt for global power. For months there has been talk of reverting to dictatorial methods.

Measurable Objectives

As the German chancellor announced in her address to the "Integration Summit" yesterday, immigrants, who do not take advantage of the German state's integration offers, will have to expect sanctions. An "agenda for the implementation" of the "national integration plan," with "measurable objectives for a compulsory integration policy" was launched at the "Integration Summit," the German government announced.[1] There are "many more immigrants receiving "Hartz IV" social welfare allocations than Germans," the chancellor said, referring to the underprivileged immigrants, most of whom had been recruited to come to Germany to work under miserable conditions on assembly lines, and due to the cutback of industrial employment, many have lost their jobs and are therefore dependent on social welfare programs. Merkel said that "this must change." But it should be taken into consideration that many immigrants with college degrees are leaving Germany. They should be encouraged to stay. "We should have an interest in giving these qualified personnel a chance in our country."[2]

Immigrant Lower Classes

With yesterday's demands, the German government is increasing its pressure, particularly on immigrant lower classes, which are currently the focus of a racist campaign. The main cues of this campaign are in the book "Deutschland schafft sich ab" (Germany is Doing Away With Itself) by the former Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin. The book has been printed in well over a million copies and - depending on the opinion poll - is finding the approval of between 60 to 80 percent of the German population. According to his own admission, it was not Sarrazin's idea to write this book. Sarrazin, whose opinions have been known for years, was asked to write the book by a Bertelsmann Corp. publishing house. In his work, he differentiates between immigrants according to their productivity. For example, he is sorry that "the highly talented Indians and Chinese are not" coming to Germany. "They are economically competitive, overcome obstacles, are rapid on the job market and their children are among the best in school," whereas immigrants from Turkey and Arab countries have "difficulties in the school system" and "on the job market," and they have a higher than average birthrate. Because of their unproductivity, something should be done about them, especially if they are receiving welfare.[3]

Not the World's Welfare Office

Whereas Sarrazin, officially, is being shunned by Berlin's establishment and facing party expulsion proceedings in the SPD, leading governing politicians have picked up his agitation against the immigrant lower classes. "We don't want to become the welfare office for the whole world" said the Bavarian Prime Minister, Horst Seehofer (CSU).[4] Whoever "refuses a job offer or an offer for the necessary training to qualify" should have "their unemployment/welfare allocations reduced or (...) completely suspended."[5] He said, "it is evident that immigrants from other cultural backgrounds, such as Turkey and Arab countries, in general, have a harder time", therefore Germany should avoid immigration from those regions of the world. Whoever "deliberately" refuses "integration" should be sanctioned in the future and if necessary deported from Germany, demanded the top CDU candidate for the regional 2011 elections in Rhineland Palatinate, Julia Kloeckner, who is also the Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Ministry for Consumer Protection.[6] The FDP's "Integration and Immigration Concept for Germany" says "Germany is not the welfare office for the world."[7] The CDU presidium's main resolution to their party convention in mid-November includes the proposal "in cases of refusal of integration there can be no tolerance shown."[8]

Drastic Measures

The government coalition parties have been raising even more far reaching demands. For example, the Seniors' Union, a CDU/CSU sub-organization, demands that beginning in 2012, only those families "with at least one parent having been an EU citizen prior to January 1, 2000" [9] should be entitled to receive child benefits. This would mean that families, who are not from an EU member country, would no longer be entitled to child benefits. The vice chairman of the Seniors' Union, Leonhard Kuckart, concedes that this is "aimed mainly at families coming from Islamic societies." "Those, who immigrate to our country, just wanting to sponge off us and consider their life mission to be to drain our social welfare system, should get out of Germany," according to the Seniors' Union. The call for radicalizing government policy vis-à-vis immigrant lower classes can also be heard in the Berlin political establishment. According to Alexander Rahr, Director of the Berthold Beitz Center for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Central Asia at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP); the administration presently does not know what to do with the 5,6 million Muslim immigrants in Germany. The Russian newspaper "Izvestia" quotes Rahr as saying: "drastic measures will be necessary, measures that will be unacceptable to the current generation of politicians."[10]

Provisional Dictator

The rapidly increasing pressure on immigrant lower classes should not only relieve the national social budget, in the long run, but also further marginalize the allegedly unproductive segments of the population or force them to emigrate. At the same time the "German Leitkultur" (defining culture) has been declared the reference for accomplishing a comprehensive restructuring of German society. These measures are being introduced at a time when Germany is reaching a strategic crossroads in its efforts to achieve global power. Foreign policy makers in Berlin have been debating the end of the "European order created with the Maastricht Treaty" ever since the beginning of this spring's Euro crisis. As was reported by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), the opinion that "Germany can advance faster, further and better by itself" is gaining attractiveness in Berlin. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[11]) Of course, the prerequisite for a new German unilateralism would be an intensified restructuring of German society. The current restructuring, considered insufficient by some in the establishment, is also behind the discussion in Berlin on the use of dictatorial governing elements. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[12]) For example, last spring, Berlin's professor of political sciences Herfried Muenkler wrote in the journal "Internationale Politik" that currently "various dictatorial powers and measures are in discussion." "There is merely no constitutional body prepared to take the risk of bringing a provisional dictator to power."[13] The reflections on dictatorial measures, along with the harsh measures against the alleged unproductive immigration lower classes are flanking Germany's efforts to achieve more global power - within or without the EU.

Please read also A New Era of Imperialism, A Bit of Brainwashing, A Bit of Dictatorship and The New German Question (I).

[1] 4. Integrationsgipfel: Messbare Ziele für Integrationspolitik; Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung 03.11.2010
[2] Merkel: Frachtgutkontrollen weltweit besser abstimmen; Passauer Neue Presse 03.11.2010
[3] Thilo Sarrazin: Deutschland schafft sich ab. Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen, München 2010 (Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt)
[4] "Wir wollen nicht zum Welt-Sozialamt werden"; www.sueddeutsche.de 16.10.2010
[5] Seehofer wettert zurück; www.mdr.de 11.10.2010
[6] Klöckner fordert härtere Sanktionen gegen integrationsunwillige Ausländer; www.ad-hoc-news.de 22.10.2010
[7] "Deutschland ist kein Weltsozialamt"; www.hr-online.de 25.10.2010
[8] CDU droht Integrationsverweigerern; www.n24.de 20.10.2010
[9] Senioren-Union will Migranten das Kindergeld streichen; Handelsblatt 29.10.2010
[10] Merkel: Multikulti in Deutschland gescheitert - "Iswestija"; de.rian.ru 18.10.2010
[11] see also The New German Question (I)
[12] see also A Bit of Dictatorship
[13] Herfried Münkler: Lahme Dame Demokratie; Internationale Politik Mai/Juni 2010