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In the five years since then, CDU/FDP government led by Jürgen Rüttgers has been, for a CDU government, remarkably benign (perhaps in part due to the fact that NRW is the traditional center for what passes for a labor-oriented wing of the CDU). Migration issues were raised to Ministry level, While in Duisburg and Fail City, CDU mayors played a key role in building public acceptance for the construction of prominent Turkish-Islamic (DITIB) mosques.

This despite some anti-foreigner escapades by Rüttgers: a decade ago he coined the slogan Kinder statt Inder ( = children instead of Indians [invited as highly qualified workers]), and more recently he deemed outsourcing stupid on the reason that Romanian workers are lazy.

But, to Rüttgers's credit(?), I can't decide whether these were outings of a real xenophobe or hapless attempts to woo the base (a la Stoiber). I remember him as one of the less social-conservative ideologising ministers of Helmut Kohl (he was minister for education and research).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat May 8th, 2010 at 02:12:00 PM EST

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