Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Thank you for the interesting diary.  I have a few comments.

It's obvious that crimes committed by young foreigners in Germany have become an election campaign issue in true German political style, with the Right snarling at the Left and the Left barking at the Right. Unfortunately, the criticism from Gerhard Schröder seems to imply that his erstwhile political opponents tolerate crimes committed by rightwing extremists while speaking up to condemn crimes committed by foreigners. The diary seems so intent on exposing the worst culprits of the evil Right that too little is said, in my humble opinion, about fears of rank-and-file Germans, regardless of their political affiliations, whom the politicians are addressing.

Take the case that entered the annals as Mehmet, which is left to a Wikipedia explanation in German, without an English translation. Mehmet is the pseudononym initially given under privacy laws to an underage offender who is a Turkish citizen. The case contributed considerably to the law-and-order reputation of Günther Beckstein, then the Bavarian interior minister, who deported the boy to Turkey but later lost a bid in a Bavarian high court to keep him out of Germany, where he was born and his Turkish parents live with permanent residency permits. The boy had committed theft, burglary, assault and battery, and extortion in more than 60 documented cases before he reached 14, the legal age of accountability under juvenile prosecution laws. The boy had been undergoing therapy ordered by the Bavarian youth welfare authorities for a number of years while he was under 14, all to no avail. After Muhlis Ari, his real name, turned 14, he injured another boy in school so badly that the boy had to be hospitalized. That's when the story hit the media, and details started emerging about Mehmet. Finally, in 2005, a Munich court sentenced the young man to 18 months in jail after he had beaten his mother and father, extorted money from his parents and threatened to kill them. He fled to Turkey before the sentence took effect.

It would have been helpful if the diary had given the question Koch was asked when he answered by speaking about "too many criminal young foreigners." Bild had asked:

Was sagt es über den Stand der Integration, wenn der Anteil jugendlicher Ausländer an Gewaltkriminalität laut Statistiken sichtbar höher ist als ihr Anteil an der Gesamtbevölkerung.What does it say about the status of integration when the percentage of young foreigners involved in violent crime, according to statistics, is conspicuously higher than their proportional representation in the overall population?

Is that true? Is that what the statistics say?

by Anthony Williamson on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 01:38:45 AM EST

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