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A Contentious Summit: Merkel's 400 Integration Promises - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

As German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted on Thursday, this year's integration summit, overshadowed by ultimatums and boycotts, didn't go quite the way she had expected. Despite its disappointing outcome, Merkel presented a mammoth concept for improving the integration of foreigners, a plan she hopes will finally bring progress to the issue.

Will German Chancellor Angela Merkel's integration summit turn into a "pile of shards"? At last year's integration summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel practically had to drag the smiling attendees away from their photo ops. "We have a lot of work to do," she said, as she and her enthusiastic guests rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

But this year's summit was a different matter, as signs of looming conflict began emerging right from the start. The city of Berlin's commissioner for integration and migration, Günther Piening, even went so far as to characterize the outcome of the summit the German government now faces as a "pile of shards."

After the accusations and the boycott of the summit by Turkish groups, Merkel's objective on Thursday was to direct attention to the results of the past year's efforts -- and away from her critics. But Merkel couldn't help but make a few comments about the Turkish groups in the end. Her comments were crystal clear.

by Fran on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:15:53 AM EST
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