German central banker in race row resigns
Berlin: A German central bank board member who caused outrage with remarks about Muslim immigrants and Jews resigned on Thursday after coming under pressure from political leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Bundesbank said Thilo Sarrazin, 65, who accused Turks and Arabs of exploiting the welfare state, refusing to integrate and lowering the average intelligence, would leave his post at the end of the month.
"Dr Sarrazin has asked the president to relieve him of his duties," the bank said in a brief statement and Sarrazin himself confirmed he had stepped down during a book reading in Potsdam near Berlin.
He had already been relieved of some of his central bank responsibilities over remarks he made last year about immigrants but the strict independence of the central bank made it difficult to have him removed.
However, after he published stronger comments in his new book "Deutschland schafft sich ab" ("Germany does away with itself") and remarks in the run-up to its publication, Merkel and President Christian Wulff gave strong hints he should step down.
Sarrazin argues in the book that Muslims undermine German society and threaten to change its character and culture with their higher birth rate. He angered many by saying "all Jews share a particular gene”.
The central bank board voted unanimously last week for his removal, which required the approval of the head of state.
"I found it too risky in the current atmosphere ... to stand up to the entire political and media establishment. That would be presumptuous and would not have worked," Sarrazin said at the book reading after news of his resignation.
"So, a strategic retreat and now (I will) work on the topics that are important to me," Sarrazin added.
He had previously vowed to fight attempts to remove him, raising the prospect of a bruising court case that would have raised questions over whether Merkel, her ministers and Wulff had acted correctly.
Merkel, senior ministers and the main political parties criticized Sarrazin, who belongs to the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and is a former finance chief of the city of Berlin.
The SPD has launched proceedings to expel him, although a recent opinion poll showed this would be unpopular with the public and SPD voters, who believed the party should devote its attentions to more important matters.
"I want no selection by genetics ... as a Social Democrat," SPD party leader Sigmar Gabriel told a TV show after the resignation, adding that Sarrazin had "crossed a line and people in the party are saying it`s not okay with us."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- One year of Modi govt: PM Modi addresses mega rally in Mathura Part-II
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- China doesn't recognise 'illegal' McMahon Line: Beijing responds to NSA Ajit Doval
- CBSE 10th Results 2015 to be declared on May 27
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- Is there life after death?
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- UBSE Results 2015 (ubse.uk.gov.in): Uttarakhand 12th Result 2015 to be announced today at 11 AM
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results declared