The debate over Muslims in Germany has flared up again after Bavarian Governor Horst Seehofer said Germany doesn't need any more Turkish or Arabic immigrants because they don't integrate as well as others. Commentators say he has damaged government efforts to calm the debate.
Efforts by German President Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel to calm the heated debate over Muslim immigration that has been raging in Germany for weeks appear to have been undermined by the governor of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, who made some incendiary comments about Muslim immigrants over the weekend.
"It's clear that immigrants from other cultures such as Turkey and Arabic countries have more difficulties. From that I draw the conclusion that we don't need additional immigration from other cultures," Seehofer, who is leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told Focus magazine in an interview published on Monday.
"I don't agree with demands for increased immigration from foreign cultures," Seehofer added. "We have to deal with the people who already live here. Eighty to 90 percent of them are well integrated. But we must get tougher on those who refuse to integrate."
Kenan Kolat, the head of the Turkish Community in Germany, demanded that Seehofer apologize and called his remarks "defamatory and unacceptable."