The attacks on German women amplify a major problem: migrant integration
Reports have emerged, suggesting that some German women may have been assaulted on New Year’s Eve by men with a North African or Arabic appearance. According to the police in Cologne, visibly drunk men, between the ages of 15 to 35 were involved in the violence, which began when they tossed firecrackers into the crowd that had assembled at the square.
This action has highlighted the tension that has been brewing since the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced Germany’s willingness to accommodate migrants. Merkel, while expressing shock and disappointment at the attack said, “Everything must be done to investigate as completely and quickly as possible those who are guilty and to punish them regardless of how they look, where they come from or what their background is.”
However, her sympathy speech has done little or nothing to protect her decision to take in migrants from facing harsh criticism. Anti-immigrant groups and other Germans have attributed the assault to the large number of immigrants in the country, to what they claim has been Merkel’s lack of foresight and failure to establish effective socio-economic policies. The deputy Editor-in-Chief of Cicero, a political magazine, noted “The government’s loss of control is not only taking place on the borders, for whoever gives up control of who enters the country no longer has control over the consequences of this action.”
In a statement by Christopher Freiherr von Mengersen, Head of the nationalist Pro-NRW movement, it can be inferred that some Germans have reached their migrant-tolerance limit. “We locals can no longer put up with everything that is being routinely swept under the rug based on a false sense of tolerance,” he said.
Although, the German authorities are not certain that the assault was perpetuated by migrants, the reaction to the news shows that the newcomers have not been properly integrated in the country despite its seeming openness.
Germany still has a long way to go regarding integration and it is a slow process. Social, economic and political policies have to be in place to ensure smooth participation and interaction between the migrants and the host communities.
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