Berlin: German central bank, the Bundesbank, on Thursday decided to dismiss its board member Thilo Sarrazin because of his recent racist remarks about Muslim and Jewish minorities in this country.
The board of directors of the bank unanimously decided to request German President Christian Wulff to remove Sarazzin from his post after a meeting with the disgraced board member in Frankfurt, the Bundesbank said in a brief press statement.
This is the first time in Germany`s history that a board member of the Bundesbank will be removed from his office.
The statement gave no reasons for the board`s decision. But it comes after Sarrazin refused to step down in spite of mounting pressure from the German federal government, the Bundesbank and the opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) in which he still occupies a leading position.
The Bundesbank`s commissioner for corporate governance, Uwe Schneider, "unreservedly supported" the board`s request to remove Sarrazin from his post, the statement said, indicating that Sarrazin had violated the code of conducts of the bank.
In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the Bundesbank’s decision.
"The Chancellor has taken note of the independent decision of the board of directors of the Bundesbank with great respect," a government spokesman said.
Sarazzin, a former finance senator in Berlin, had stirred up strong outrage among the leaders of all major political parties and minority groups with his comments in a series of recent interviews and in a book published last week that Muslims are undermining the German society.
In his book `Deutschland schafft sich ab` (Germany is giving itself up), Sarrazin claimed that Germany was becoming "more stupid" because the immigrants from Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa are "less intelligent" and "poorly educated”.
In his view, the Muslim community in this country is "unproductive, difficult to integrate and posed a burden for the society”.
To support his theory, he also drew a comparison between Muslims and Jews and claimed that "all Jews share a particular gene" and that makes them "different from other people”.
In earlier interviews, Sarrazin had argued that he would prefer immigration of East European Jews because they "have a 15 percent higher IQ than the German population”.
Sarrazin`s critics said his jibe against the Muslim minorities is a "publicity stunt" for his new book and his controversial remarks indeed made the book highly popular among the German public.
Its publisher claimed that more than 60,000 copies were sold even before its publication last week, media reports said.