German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for the dismissal of Bundesbank executive Thilo Sarrazin for anti-semitic remarks.
The controversial banker has published a book called “German abolition” which takes a disparaging look at Turkish and Arab immigrants.
In a newspaper interview Sarrazin said “All Jews share a particular gene, Basques share a gene that sets them apart.”
Sarrazin’s pet topic is immigration:
“Most of the cultural and economic problems surrounding integration are concentrated in a group of the five to six million immigrants from Muslim countries. The economic and cultural problems of integration for immigrants from Islamic countries have an overall negative impact on the economic and social levels of the European countries that take them in.”
As many as 3 million people of Turkish origin and around 280,000 of Arab extraction live in Germany and his comments have angered the immigrant community.
Kenan Kolat represents the Turkish community in Germany.
“The problems are well known, we have been discussing them for years. What Mr Sarrazin says won’t bring in any solutions, he stigmatises and defames.”
The Bundesbank has distanced itself from his remarks, saying his personal opinions are not linked to his role in the bank.
Bank President Axel Weber has been deeply embarrassed by the scandal especially as he is in the running to take over the presidency of the European Central Bank.
Ayyub Axel Köhler from Germany’s Muslim Council gave a grim warning:
“In a certain way, Sarrazin is a populist he appeals to people’s base instincts and it’s that which makes him dangerous. In view of our history I think we have enough experiance of just how explosive a man like this can be.”
It is not the first time Sarrazin has hit the headlines. He created uproar when he suggested the unemployed should spend less than five euros a day on food and mocked them for being overweight and poor dressers.