SPD national executive votes to expel Sarrazin

Leaders of Germany’s opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) called Monday for the expulsion of Thilo Sarrazin, the author of a divisive book that claims immigration will be the downfall of German society.

The party’s general secretary, Andrea Nahles, said the SPD’s 40-member national executive had cast a “united” vote to begin proceedings against the 65-year-old.

However, opposition to Sarrazin from within the SPD has not been unanimous, with several senior figures expressing their support for him in recent weeks, saying they would resist moves to have him ejected from the party.

SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel confirmed Monday the decision to seek his removal was based on Sarrazin’s controversial remarks. A party tribunal in Sarrazin’s local district of Berlin must now decide whether he will be ejected.

Deutsche Welle, 13 September 2010