German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany's attempt to create a multicultural society has "failed, utterly failed."
Merkel, speaking October 16 at a meeting of her Christian Democratic party in the city of Potsdam, said decades of allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating into mainstream society has not worked for Germany.
"In Frankfurt on the Main, two out of three children under the age of five have an immigrant background,” Merkel said.
“We are a country which, at the beginning of the 1960s, actually brought guest workers to Germany. Now they live with us and we lied to ourselves for a while, saying that they won't stay and that they will have disappeared again one day. That's not the reality. This [multicultural] approach -- saying that we simply live side by side and are happy about each other -- this approach has failed, utterly failed."
Merkel called on immigrants living in Germany to do more to integrate, including learning quickly to speak German.
Merkel's remarks come as she faces pressure from within her party to take a tougher line on immigrants who don't show a willingness to adapt to German society.
Her comments are also the latest from a mainstream German politician warning of problems allegedly connected to immigrants.
compiled from agency reports