(Photo: German Bundesbank President Axel Weber at news conference after the bank decided to dismiss board member Thilo Sarrazin, 2 September 2010/Alex Domanski)
Germany’s Bundesbank has voted to dismiss board member Thilo Sarrazin, whose remarks about Muslim immigrants and Jews have divided the country. Following are extracts from Friday’s German newspapers on the central bank’s decision, which must still be approved by the German President Christian Wulff.
BILD (Conservative mass circulation)
“President Christian Wulff is in a horrible jam. If he signs the order to fire Sarrazin, he’ll be viewed by millions of Germans as just another one of those jaundiced political leaders … but if he doesn’t sign it, he’ll have the chancellor and the entire political establishment against him.
“But if Wulff decides to read the book himself, he’ll see that it’s based on a lot of well-documented truths about immigrants, education and Germany’s social state. And unfortunately an appalling, vulgar Darwinism that reduces every person to a hostage of their genetic makeup.
“The bottom line is: it’s not enough to sack him.”.
BERLINER ZEITUNG (Centre-left)
“It was hard enough for the bank to take this step under the leadership of Bundesbank President Axel Weber. In the end it was high time, because the former Berlin state finance minister Thilo Sarrazin simply went too far.
“But this doesn’t mean that the Sarrazin case is closed. Because Sarrazin is unlikely to accept this dishonourable discharge. The Bundesbank head must risk defeat in court because otherwise the row over Sarrazin would have gone on and on. If it had, Weber could have buried his ambitions for the top job at the European Central Bank once and for all. For politicians this verdict is a disgrace either way. Thilo Sarrazin should never have been turned loose on the Bundesbank.”