BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel's declaration that Germany's attempts to build a multicultural society had "utterly failed" is feeding a growing debate over how to deal with the millions of foreigners who call the country home.
Merkel told a meeting of young members of her that while immigrants are welcome in Germany, they must learn the language and accept the country's cultural norms — sounding a note heard increasingly across Europe as it battles an economic slump and worries about homegrown terrorism.
"This multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side by side and live happily with each other has failed. Utterly failed," Merkel said.I would have to agree with her. People who move around need to learn to accept the local norms of their new home. They don't have to practice them all, but they have to speak the language at least. It is tough with all the diversity this world has, and unfair to those who are displaced from their homes, but I think it is necessary.