German Chancellor Angela Merkel has hit out at what she calls “discrimination” against immigrants in Germany.
Speaking in her weekly podcast, the often outspoken Chancellor said: “We currently have a real under-representation of people of immigrant origin in the public service and we have to change that. When someone has a name that doesn't sound very German, for certain jobs it often happens that they have difficulties in being employed.”
Germany has one of the strongest economies in the world and around a quarter of its 82 million inhabitants are thought to be immigrants.
Ms Merkel is set to tackle the topic more when she attends an immigration summit scheduled for later on this week. Earlier in the year Ms Merkel proclaimed that “multi-culturalism has utterly failed”. She also stated: “The demand for integration is one of our key tasks for the times to come. At the same time, it must be a trademark of Germany to be a country which gives people in our country an opportunity.”
Immigration has long been a contentious issue in Germany, many attribute Germany's powerful position to the wave of immigrant workers that entered the country during the 50s and 60s. However there has been some opposition towards immigrants in recent years, earlier in the year a respected banker, Thilo Sarrazin, caused outrage when he accused immigrants of making Germany “more stupid”.