Focus, the German news magazine, had brief article this morning.
Klaus Bouillon is the Interior Minister of the Saarland (one of the 16 German states). Bouillon is one of the more interesting of German political figures, but rarely gets dragged out to some public forum for a nationally televised discussion.
From 1982 to 2014, he served as the elected mayor of St Wendel.....a Saar city of 26,000 people. In the literal sense, Bouillon transformed St Wendel. Through grants from the state and national government over this 32 year period.....he brought in 950 million Euro of renovation money for the city and surrounding neighborhoods. At some point, he invented the gimmick of noting St Wendel as a "sports city", where fifteen significant sports events are held yearly....with the 2002 Tour de France actually going through the Saar city as part of the French event.
In the last election as mayor (2010), he was so popular that he got 85-percent of the vote. It's hard to find anyone who dislikes the guy.
The article on Bouillon? Well, he's come out and suggested that the government has to know the intelligence level of incoming refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants....if it wants to integrate and provide training as needed. An intelligence test?
You can imagine the gut feeling from the pro-immigration crowd because they know it's inviting issues.
But Bouillon is pointing out the obvious factor.....all of this integration, asylum, immigration and refugee business goes to job training or certification at some point. How can the Job-Centers properly do their job, without an idea of who is standing in front of them. You could have a PhD Syrian standing there in their midst and try to embarrass the guy by sending him to some grocery interview.
The other side of this episode is that if you line up a hundred immigrants, and find out that sixty have some fairly decent level of intelligence which requires only minimum training......but then turn to realize that of the forty individuals left.....half of them are barely at the German 6th-grade level of education. What exactly can you do with people like this.....other than hustling them off to Burger King for a flipper-job?
If you knew that twenty-percent of the incoming were of no value.....would it reshape the whole conversation and force some type of review of the Merkel vision?
Bouillon starts this as an experiment...a test.....with volunteers only in the beginning. I'm guessing that a dozen-odd Germans will try to volunteer and get into the middle of this as test members.....to ensure the fairness, and discover that they might only be regarded as average-smart instead of the brilliant-smart that they'd been assuming of themselves for years.
The thing is that Bouillon is nearing 70 years old. The CDU should have realized the capability of this guy back in the 1990s and brought him to the national level. In a forum, he is articulate, loaded with common sense, and persuasive with information as part of the discussion. And this intelligence test idea is probably one of the smartest ideas put on the table so far during this crisis.