Monitor: International comment on the German government's new policy on citizenship

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The Independent Culture
THE MILLION people who signed the Christian Democrats' petition reject dual nationality as a general rule. They will not accept the Free Democrats' model, even if this would allow dual nationality only for a limited period. The change of government in Hesse has made a deep impression on the coalition. Social Democrats already appear to be distancing themselves from their revolutionary Bill. They will not give in completely until they realise that the CDU and the CSU will not waver.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany

THIS REFORM is astonishing. But it does conform with a country that is home to a multicultural society; it has had to appease the dramas that have arisen from the matter of immigration. Germany has shown that she knows how to be generous: what other western European country has opened its gates to refugees from ex-Yugoslavia?

Le Monde, France

THERE IS support within the SPD for the Christian Democrat position on dual nationality. The SPD is saddled with a government that has to work with Green demands, rather than genuine Social Democrat issues. Schroder probably thought that it would be best to deal with Green issues at the beginning of the legislative period; that's when governments are at their strongest. But he cannot have suspected that these issues could cause such rapid and lasting damage.

Die Welt, Germany

EVERY COUNTRY has a right to debate the questions of what constitutes belonging, loyalty and citizenship. It may be better to have the mainstream conservative opposition raising the issue than to leave it to an extremist fringe, even though racism forms an undeniable current in the stream of opposition. The point, though, is that the Christian Democrats are wrong. Setting limits on immigration is one thing; allowing foreigners to move to your country and then keeping them as second-class citizens is another. That is unjust and in the long run untenable.

The Washington Post, US