Immigrants, Learn to Speak German: Merkel

She says attempts to form a harmonious multicultural society have failed

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 17, 2010 12:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – Talk about a downer of a speech: German Chancellor Angela Merkel recounted yesterday how, in the 1960s, "our country called the foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country" ... but attempts to build "a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other" have "failed, utterly failed." The remarks came during a gathering of Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union, the BBC reports.

Despite other similar comments, including the implication that immigrants should learn to speak German, Merkel went on to say, "We should not be a country either which gives the impression to the outside world that those who don't speak German immediately or who were not raised speaking German are not welcome here." The comments come at a time when anti-immigration sentiment is rising: More than 30% of Germans believe the country is "overrun by foreigners," according to a recent survey.

In this Oct. 16, 2010 file picture German chancellor speaks at a meeting of the youth organization of her Christian Democratic Party (JU) in Potsdam, Eastern Germany.
In this Oct. 16, 2010 file picture German chancellor speaks at a meeting of the youth organization of her Christian Democratic Party (JU) in Potsdam, Eastern Germany.   (AP Photo/dapd/ Clemens Bilan, File)
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