Date
16 October 2018
Football star Mesut Özil has quit the German national team, claiming he has been a victim of racism after he posed for pictures with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo: Reuters
Football star Mesut Özil has quit the German national team, claiming he has been a victim of racism after he posed for pictures with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo: Reuters

Dark clouds hanging over Europe

The migrant issue seems to be getting worse in Europe.

Football star Mesut Özil has quit the German national team, claiming he has been a victim of racism after he posed for pictures with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

German media linked his Turkish roots to Germany’s group-stage exit at the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. And Özil did not get any support from German Football Federation (DFB) president Richard Grindel.

“I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don’t,” Özil said in a statement. He said German newspapers tried to turn the entire nation against him and blamed his Turkish heritage.

In the past, anti-racist sentiments usually prevailed and won massive public support. But this time the German public kept silent over the saga.

Meanwhile, German footballer Lothar Matthäus was also seen in photos shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But unlike in the case of Özil, Matthäus did not draw any criticism at all as he is a pure German. Does that suggest a double standard?

Özil’s resignation has whipped up a storm among new migrants, who voiced similar bitter experiences of being discriminated against in Germany.

Meanwhile, the deadline for the United Kingdom to exit from the European Union draws near. The nation has to come up with clear Brexit plan before the end of March next year. But a consensus is yet to be reached in the UK, or within EU.

The migrant issue has been the main trigger for the Brexit vote. But a hard Brexit may prove too costly for the UK. Prime Minister Theresa May must make up her mind.

While Europe is facing multifarious challenges, and the trade war between the United States and China persists, global capital is flowing back to the US at a faster pace. This could support further gains for the Nasdaq index.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug 8

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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RT/CG

Columnist at the Hong Kong Economic Journal

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