‘Bearded Migrants’ Must Speak German, Says Merkel Ally… Referring to English-Speaking ‘Hipsters’
A member of Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives has sparked a row in Germany, insisting “every migrant”, and “bearded” young men, in particular, should learn German and stop the “madness” of speaking in a foreign tongue in the capital.
Jens Spahn, a 37-year-old deputy finance minister, was not referring to the million-plus recently arrived, most-Muslim, migrants, however, but English-speaking “elitists hipsters” who have moved en masse to the trendy suburbs of Berlin.
The politician, who is on the political right of the Chancellor’s party and has called for mosques to be registered, toldNeue Osnabrücker Zeitung earlier this month: “It drives me up the wall the way waiters in Berlin restaurants only speak English.
“Co-existence can only work in Germany if we all speak German. We can and should expect this from every immigrant. You would never find this kind of madness in Paris.”
The German government recently made it compulsory for asylum seekers to learn German. Those who do no can lose some welfare benefits and the right to live there permanently. The rule, however, does not apply to European Union citizens.
German children are also taught English in school, and there have been repeated calls from politicians and senior educators for Germans to learn Arabic to help Muslim migrants integrate.
A member of the Green party, whose official Twitter account mocked Mr. Spahn for demanding English speakers learn German, told Germans worried about mass migration to learn Arabic to easy their concern last year.
Volker Beck, the left-wing party’s spokesman on migration, said: “If it’s really important to people, they should learn the [migrant’s] language, then they would understand what’s going on.”