World Bulletin/News Desk
The German Conservative Party CSU has demanded that all foreigners must speak German in all government buildings and have now put measures in place for this.
The Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to Merkel's conservatives and a partner in her coalition government in Berlin, made the proposal in a draft policy paper that is due to be approved by CSU leaders on Monday.
In the paper, the party says: "People who want to remain here on a permanent basis should be obliged to speak German in public and within the family."
Once a custom in Turkey, where residents if they didn't speak Turkish would be fined, the German government is now preparing for a similar rule in the province of Bavaria. In an announcement by official Bavarian radio BR, Germany's Christian Social Democratic Party will put forward a motion in the state party for all immigrants to speak German in public and within their confines of their homes.
In the application, it was claimed that for the overall harmony of a community living together, it was necessary for all immigrants to learn German and for those who arrive without knowledge of the language to be encouraged to put in a language training course.
The CSU proposal on speaking German in the home was swiftly denounced by the other parties in Merkel's government, including a senior official from the chancellor's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Bavarian Social Democratic Party (SPD) General Secretary criticised the proposal, using cynical undertones to suggest that “This is the last thing that we needed. Now we need language police to enforce spoken German. This ridiculousnes will be now complete”. From the Greens party, Eike Hallitzky said that, “This is so distant from true life” criticising the CSU party suggesting that the ultimate point will be white and blue carpets in their own rooms, the symbolic colours of the Bavarian flag.
Yasmin Fahimi, Tauber's counterpart in the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who share power with Merkel, called the proposal "totally absurd".
"The state has no role to play in deciding what language people speak within the walls of their own home," Fahimi told German newspaper Bild.
The proposal comes amid a sharp rise in immigration levels to Germany, driven by arrivals from eastern European Union members such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as a surge in asylum seekers fleeing the war in Syria.
Some members of the CSU are worried the rise in immigrants will lead traditional supporters of the party to flee to the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a new party which preaches a tough line on immigration. The CSU was the driving force behind a new law earlier this year that clamps down on immigrants who abuse Germany's generous social welfare system.
Because of its ageing population and low birth rate, Germany desperately needs more immigrants to ward off a demographic crisis that poses a threat to the economy and state pension and healthcare systems. But many Germans are uncomfortable with the idea that their country is turning into a "melting pot" for foreigners seeking better jobs and lives.
Last Mod: 07 Aralık 2014, 23:13