10 September 2010
Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin resigned late on Thursday after causing weeks of uproar with inflammatory comments on immigrants and Jews. “The Bundesbank board and its member Thilo Sarrazin are aware of their responsibilities to the institution of the Bundesbank,” the central bank said in a surprise statement posted on its website. “Given the public debate, the parties concerned are going, of mutual accord, to end their cooperation at the end of the month.”
The Frankfurt-based Bundesbank had previously requested that German President Christian Wulff fire Sarrazin because he had refused to go quietly. But on Thursday the bank said it had “withdrawn its request” and that the 65-year-old had asked Wulff to relieve him of his duties. The statement also thanked Sarrazin “for the work he has done.”
The furore followed the publication of a new book by Sarrazin, Deutschland schafft sich ab — Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen, or “Abolishing Germany – How we’re putting our country at jeopardy.” In the book, he says Europe’s top economy is being undermined, overwhelmed and made “more stupid” by poorly educated, fast-breeding, badly integrated and unproductive Muslim immigrants and their offspring. “If I want to hear the muezzin’s call to prayer, then I’ll go to the Orient,” he says in the book, saying that allowing in millions of “guest workers” in the 1960s and 1970s was a “gigantic error.”
As a consequence, the Sarrazin debate has put the immigration and integration issue back on top of the political and public agenda in Germany.
Die Welt (11/09, German)