Not quite the River Main of Blood

The REAL election '08

The boss is in trouble. State Prime Minister Roland Koch is being branded a racist for a pre-election statement… and his critic is a familiar name. According to a report:

Wading back into German politics after a long break, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder this week launched a blistering attack on Chancellor Angela Merkel and Roland Koch, the conservative premier of the western state of Hesse, charging them with inciting racial hatred and damaging Germany's image.

His crime? Saying to a Bild interviewer:

How much are we prepared to take from a small proportion of violent youths, who frequently have a foreign background? We have spent too long showing a strange sociological understanding for groups that consciously commit violence as ethnic minorities.

The widely-read Deutsche Welle (whose purpose, I understand, is to put Germany in a good light around the world) calls the whole thing straight out a

Xenophobic election campaign,

which assumes that Koch’s lying with the outright intention of inciting racial hatred. The head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews goes rather OTT:

The standard of Premier Roland Koch's election campaign hardly differs from that of the NPD [the Neo-Nazis].

Erm, except the violence and the racism and the ethnic cleansing. Let's not get too carried away.

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