GERMANY: Authorities' hypocrisy on racist violence (from GLW)

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at
Thu Aug 24 05:12:10 MDT 2000

I (Johannes) quoted Green Left Weekly:

> Leading capitalist
> associations fear for the country's economy, and their profits, as the
> of the racist terror in Germany spreads around the world.

In todays Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (usually considered the
central-organ of German capitalism) those fears are spoken out:


Racism May Deter Investors in Saxony-Anhalt

By Stephan Finsterbusch

LEIPZIG. German companies must be able to take better measures to combat
racist behavior at work. Matthias Gabriel, economics minster of the eastern
German state of Saxony-Anhalt, said planned investments worth billions of
marks would otherwise be in jeopardy due to extremist incidents in the past

The state government in Magdeburg has drafted a program for "more civil
courage at the workplace" together with chambers of commerce and business
associations. Companies in Saxony-Anhalt had warned that more action was
needed to combat racism after the last state elections.

In these, the German People's Union (DVU) had gained 12.9 percent of the
vote and entered the state parliament. Meantime, the DVU parliamentary party
is racked by infighting. But, right-wing extremism continues to be a problem
in the state.

Three youths currently appearing before the state court charged with
murdering Alberto Adriano, who came from Mozambique, in Dessau in June of
this year, have admitted to the charge and the racist motives behind it.

The Leipzig-Halle Environmental Research Center (ERC) sees increased
violence among right-wing orientated youths as a threat to the state's
economic and research base. Many companies are considering taking legal
action against right-wing employees.

Since the start of the 1990s, foreign companies have invested DM10 billion
($4.6 billion) in Saxony-Anhalt. Foreign capital is responsible for every
seventh job.

More than half the investment was channelled into the chemical regions
around Leuna and Bitterfeld. Saxony-Anhalt is nonetheless top of the foreign
investment league among the new eastern German states. But, its unemployment
rate, currently 20 percent, is also the highest in Germany.

According to the Halle-Dessau Chamber of Commerce, more than 1,000 IT
specialists were needed in the medium term. ERC points out it is already
difficult to get foreign academics to go to the eastern German states. At
present, ERC has around 650 employees. One in every seven comes from abroad.

Mr. Gabriel said the latest right-wing violence has yet to endanger planned
foreign investment. A few weeks ago, he met potential investors in the
United States together with State Premier Reinhard Höppner.

Apparently, DM700 million have been set aside since July for the development
of new space for new investors in the large chemical parks in Leuna, Buna
and Bitterfeld, but the Halle-Dessau Chamber of Commerce said investments
were only sporadic. The reason for this to date was Germany's general system
of tax and payroll withholdings.

Mr. Gabriel said racism must be combatted in society at large. He was
therefore in favor of more serious consequences at the workplace.

Surveys have shown 85 percent of right-wing suspects are employed full time,
while 15 percent are unemployed. Employers must be made aware they can turn
to the chambers, associations and politicians for help in such cases.
Aug. 23

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