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Tuesday 24, October

CDU leader wants all new German citizens to commit to Israel

The announcement from the CDU's Friedrich Merz could put the future of Germany's relaxed citizenship laws in trouble.

CDU leader Friedrich Merz publicly announced: “Anyone who doesn’t sign this has no place in Germany.” Photo: IMAGO / Future Image

Tuesday 24, October

CDU leader wants to require all new German immigrants to recognise security of Israel

It was only recently that Germany’s traffic light coalition finally agreed to legislation relaxing its citizenship laws. The new law meant that immigrants would finally be able to hold multiple nationalities and could become eligible for naturalisation after a minimum of three years. But opposition leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) wants to change all that, according to reporting by Der Spiegel.

“Rapid naturalisation must be stopped,” he told ZDF on Sunday. Furthermore, he proposes adding a special commitment in the agreement undertaken by all new German citizens to recognise the security of the state of Israel. “Anyone who doesn’t sign this has no place in Germany,” he commented, adding that he believes the security of Israel was ultimately the founding principle (Staatsräson) of the German state.

The idea drew criticism from across the political spectrum. Statements from the Green Party and the SPD commented that it was simply unnecessary, since anyone expressing antisemitic, racist or xenophobic views is already prohibited from becoming a citizen. Clara Bünger (DIE LINKE) was more vehement in her criticism, commenting that by his statement, Merz aimed “to exclude and pillory certain population groups such as refugees, especially people of Muslim faith.”

These comments come at a time of distinct rightward movement in Germany, with the AfD riding high in the polls and German chancellor Olaf Scholz recently commenting to Der Spiegel that wanted to carry out deportations of people who do not have the right to remain in the country “on a large scale”.