German integration debate heats up

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s declaration that Germany’s attempts to build a multicultural society had “utterly failed” is feeding a growing debate over how to deal with the millions of foreigners who call the country home.

Merkel told a meeting of young members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union on Saturday that while immigrants are welcome in Germany, they must learn the language and accept the country’s cultural norms — sounding a note heard increasingly across Europe as it battles an economic slump and worries about homegrown terrorism.

She stressed that the idea of allowing different cultures to coexist beside one another peacefully had not succeeded.

“This multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side by side and live happily with each other has failed. Utterly failed,” Merkel said.

via German integration debate heats up – BusinessWeek.

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