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Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy Discuss Problems Migrants Face

The past week has been marked by events for the relations between A United Europe and the United States. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, have each paid a visit to Washington. Today at a meeting in Berlin they will discuss their trips across the Atlantic. At the same time in the German capital a meeting of the united ministerial council of the two countries will take place. The most important theme of this event is the problem of immigration.

The comments of the French and German observers on the theme of todays meeting can be summed up by one of Pushkins lines: So, verse and prose, they came together. No ice and flame, no stormy weather and granite. Experts in Brussels point out the obvious difference in personalities between the impulsive Sarkozy and the reserved Merkel, the collision of two personalities that have got used to speaking openly: One with an analytical mind of a scientist and the other with the fieriness of a man of action. Many think that the atmosphere of the Merkel-Sarkozy dialogues when disputed topics are put to the negotiating table will be much more useful for the development of relations than the polite consent of Jack Chirac and Gerhardt Schroeder. The fact that they will speak frankly to each other is not at all a bad thing- on the contrary, its a good thing! assured the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

We should first make note of the fact that the new leaders of France and Germany differ from their predecessors in their feelings about Atlantism: neither one nor the other consider opposition to America as a viable method of foreign policy. They hope that all the disagreements with the US might be brought out and settled in Washington. This was the case on their respective trips to visit George Bush.

At todays ministerial session they will focus on one very blatant problem for Europe: the implantation of immigrants in the European social fabric. The topic of immigration is looked upon differently in each country and the government puts different stresses on different aspects of it. First of all, for those immigrants in Germany, the difficulty in mastering the language prevents them from becoming an integrated part of society. In France the majority of the new arrivals are from the former colonies. So they know French, but youth of different ethnic backgrounds who live in the ghettos feel as though they are second class citizens. Merkels mainly tolerant immigration policy differs from Sarkozys more rigid format. However, the problems of unemployment, the growth of nationalism and the social disorder has developed in both countries.

The French and German ministries will go together to the headquarters in Berlin, to find out a bit more about the task of integrating immigrants. Sarkozy himself will be brought to the Berlin lyceum Romen Rollan, which according to the Germans, serves as an example of cultural variety and integration. The two heads of the Foreign Policy departments will go to a studio to record a duet of a Turkish song that was composed by two Germen men.

Source: Newspaper Novye Izvestia


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