Immigration from neighboring Middle Eastern and North African countries would make Europe more solid, otherwise its population would have been left with no choice other than to fornicate with each another, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble claimed in an interview with Die Zeit.
“It is isolation that would destroy us, it would lead us towards degenerating in inbreeding,” the finance minister argued. “For us, Muslims in Germany are an enrichment of our openness and our diversity. Look at the third generation of Turks, especially the women. That is an enormous innovation potential.”
Schaeuble, believed to be one of the country’s most influential ministers, also called for more economic engagement with the Middle East and North Africa. “After 1990, we began to seriously deal with the fact that there is something else outside the Western world.”
“Africa will be our problem, and we have to face this challenge,” he said, adding that Europe should pour more money into those regions if it wants to halt the influx of refugees. “One thing is quite clear for the future – we have to invest more in Iraq, Syria and Libya, and then we will have to pay for sub-Saharan Africa’s development.”
North African countries are already demanding more investment from Berlin “as a condition for taking refugees back,” he went on. “And they are right to do so.”
The minister’s comments, made apparently in support of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policy, have sparked controversy in Germany. Some critics compared Schaeuble’s remarks to those of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who recently said German MPs of Turkish descent “tainted their blood” by voting for recognition of the Armenian genocide.
Social media users have reacted to the minister’s words with criticism calling the comments unevenly racist.
Some said his statements play into the hands of Alternative for Germany (AFD), the far-right party which keeps saying that mass migration would change the face of society.
They also do not sit well with Schaeuble’s previous statements on the refugee crisis, which continues to have an impact on Germany, the primary destination for many asylum seekers. In January, the finance minister said the border-free Schengen area was on the verge of collapse because of the refugee influx.