Publication Date : Wednesday 24 December 2014 11:38
German business leader blasts anti-Islam protests
An influential German business leader has blasted an anti-Islam movement in the country, saying that Europe's economy requires more immigrants in order to stay competitive.
German Federation of Industry (BDI) President Ulrich Grillo said on Monday that the country's interests and values were being undermined by the “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident” (PEGIDA) which has been organizing weekly rallies.
"We have long been a land of immigration and we must remain so," he told DPA.
He said Germany’s aging population was dependent on skilled immigrant labor, adding that country’s status as a welfare state is secured by the immigrant workforce.
Grillo slammed the protests while labeling the participants as "neo-Nazis and xenophobes".
He also called on Germany’s political leaders to do more to try to explain to the people that many opportunities are created thanks to immigration.
The BDI speaks for the political interests of over 100,000 companies, which employ some eight million people.
Grillo’s comments came on the heels of an anti-Islam and anti-refugee rally held in the German city of Dresden.