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Merkel says German multiculturalism has failed

posted 17 Oct 2010, 02:39 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 17 Oct 2010, 02:41 ]

Germany's attempt to create a multicultural society has "utterly failed", Chancellor Angela Merkel tells a meeting of young members of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam polarising her conservative camp.

POTSDAM, GERMANY (OCTOBER 16, 2010) REUTERS - Chancellor Angela Merkel added fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam on Saturday (October 16) when she said that Germany's attempt to create a multicultural society had "utterly failed."

Merkel said it had not proven possible for people from different cultural backgrounds to simply live side by side in Germany, which is home to some four million Muslims.

"This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed," Merkel told a meeting of young members of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam near Berlin.

The debate comes against a backdrop of U.S. and British concerns over the threat of terrorist attacks by militant Islamists living in Germany, with Berlin toning down such fears.

Merkel faces corresponding discussions inside her CDU about whether she is conservative enough, and the centre-right leader's latest comments seemed directed at those who think she

is not striking a hard enough line on integration.

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