Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Merkel's coalition rejects proposal for dual citizenship

The German government blocked legislation on Wednesday that could have granted dual citizenship to hundreds of thousands of immigrants even though it is trying to recruit skilled foreigners to alleviate a labor shortage.

The left-wing opposition accused Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition of holding an antiquated world view and anti-Turkish sentiment verging on racism, setting up immigration as a campaign issue before a federal election in September.

The bills would have had most effect on German residents of Turkish origin.

"Merkel has said she wants a welcoming culture, and yet the current law on nationality doesn't foster integration but rather forces people to give up their heritage," said Thomas Oppermann, parliamentary floor leader of the Social Democrats.