Transatlantic Intelligencer: Gerhard Schröder, Belgian Jihad and French Car Burning

Transatlantic Intelligencer: Gerhard Schröder, Belgian Jihad and French Car Burning

Editor's Note: Today we present the second installment of Transatlantic Intelligencer, a new column written by World Politics Review translations editor John Rosenthal. Drawing from predominantly European foreign-language news sources, Rosenthal posts each "Trans-Int" item on the WPR blog as he uncovers it. At the start of the next week, we publish all of the items in this full column in our news section.

GERARD SCHRÖDER, NOW AND THEN -- With important elections upcoming later this month in the German states of Hesse and Lower Saxony and next month in Hamburg, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has returned to the public eye: campaigning for his Social Democratic Party (SDP) and leading the charge against the rival Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

The incumbent CDU Governor of Hesse, Roland Koch, has come in for particularly severe criticism from the former chancellor. Following a brutal attack on a senior citizen in a Munich subway station last month, the themes of "youth crime" and "foreigner crime" [Ausländerkriminalität] have come to dominate the headlines in Germany. In an interview with the popular German tabloid Bild, Koch took up and joined the themes, saying "We have too many young criminal foreigners [in Germany]," and he appeared to endorse expulsions as a means of dealing with the alleged "problem." "Someone who as a foreigner fails to respect our rules does not belong here," Koch said. It should be noted that in Germany the term "foreigner" [Ausländer] is commonly applied to immigrants or even second- or third-generation descendants of immigrants. (For example, Serkan A., one of the two young "foreigners" accused of the Munich subway attack, was born and raised in Germany.)

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