Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer continued his anti-immigrant attacks on Friday night, addressing the youth wing of the conservatives and telling them “multiculturalism is dead.”
“We as the (Christian Democratic) Union stand for the dominant German culture and against multiculturalism – multiculturalism is dead,” he said according to news magazine Der Spiegel.
Speaking at the Junge Union national meeting in Potsdam, Seehofer’s latest attack on the idea of Germany being a country of immigration followed his recent call to stop Turks and Arabs from moving to Germany.
Yet he said his speech was not a lurch to the right, rather an attempt to “stop the right-wing loonies,” he said, adding that “political seducers” must be deterred from parliament by addressing the concerns of voters.
Those who wanted to live in Germany had to be prepared to accept the daily culture of the country, he said, although did not specify how this should be defined.
Chancellor Angela Merkel was more moderate, Der Spiegel reported, but seemed to echo some of Seehofer’s sentiment when she said, “We feel bound to the Christian image of humanity, that is what defines us,” she said. Those who do not accept this, “are in the wrong place here.”
Germans should also talk about their values and their increasing alienation from religion, in order to affirm their sense of country and society, she added.
Regarding the idea of allowing highly-qualified people to come to Germany to fill the skills deficit, Seehofer said the emphasis should initially be on training unemployed people here before bringing people into the country. Germany should not become the “social security office for the whole world,” he said.
Young members of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), should know what the parties stood for, he added.
One should not have to “constantly apologise for having a love for one’s own country,” he said, adding there was every reason to be proud of Germany.
Philipp Mißfelder, who was elected to chair the youth organisation on Friday, welcomed Seehofer’s comments on immigration. Mißfelder said it was the job of the CSU to regain sovereignty over the popular debate. He said there should never be a democratically legitimate power to the political right of the union. “The guarantee for that in Germany is and remains, the CSU,” he said.
Seehofer was again criticised by the Central Council of Jews in Germany for his comments.
“All possible cultural circles are being stigmatised, defamed and tarred with the same brush. I find it on the one hand irresponsible and on the other, shabby,” said Stephan Kramer, secretary general of the Council. He said the current debate on integration of migrants and immigration was making people feel uneasy and scared.