The billionaire co-founder of software giant SAP, Hasso Plattner, said in a new interview that parts of Berlin have been taken over by Arabs and that he now prefers to stay in Potsdam, a smaller neighboring city.
During his interview with the Swiss newspaper NZZ, the 80-year-old spoke of his hometown of Berlin, saying, “entire districts appear to be taken over by Arabs,” and that Germans have a penchant for self-destruction.
“I’m a Berliner, but I don’t go to Berlin anymore, I stay in my Potsdam. The fact that entire parts of the city have apparently been taken over by Arabs and that their ethics and understanding of the law are practiced there is not good. Behind closed doors, everyone says that something went wrong,” he said.
In the interview, he said that Germany has “developed self-doubt to the point of self-destructiveness.” He claimed it is unique to Germany, and this attitude weakens its position both economically and internationally.
Plattner is one of the richest men in the world, with an estimated net worth of approximately €20 billion. His criticism represents a growing unease within Germany’s business elite towards the policies of the left-liberal government. He says he spends most of his time in the United States and lives in San Jose, the hometown of Silicon Valley.
Despite Plattner’s criticism of migration policy, he said he is opposed to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and worries that they will gain more power. However, he is opposed to a ban on the party.
“That would only make them even stronger because there is a strong group in the population that is very close to the AfD’s ideas. The feeling that we as Germans are superior to others, that we do best when we are left alone, is strongly present in Germany. The jump from 33 to over 50 percent of the vote can easily come in a crisis,” he said.
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Plattner’s views on the AfD stand in sharp contrast to another billionaire, Theo Müller — who owns some of the most popular food brands in Germany, including Mülllermilch, Weihenstephan, and Landliebe. Müller recently praised the AfD and said that he has met with the party’s co-leader Alice Weidel a number of times and sees nothing wrong with her stances.
However, in a warning shot to wealthy businessmen who may consider supporting the AfD, the country’s left launched a boycott campaign of Müller’s products, which may serve to stifle open support of the party in the future.
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Plattner also discussed politics in the United States. Despite many Americans voting for Donald Trump due to his immigration policies, Plattner says he does not understand how Americans would vote for him either.
“Then, even 75 years of democracy doesn’t help much, as you can see in the USA. How can Americans in such large numbers follow this Pied Piper Trump?” he asked.
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In the interview, Plattner described a lavish lifestyle, saying he was recently visiting his daughter in Aspen, Colorado, and mused over how many more billions he could have made if he had taken certain steps, such as purchasing Apple shares earlier or merging his company with Microsoft.
He also touched on the economic troubles facing Germany.
“Yes, the auto industry is facing major challenges. China is stepping into this uncertainty with a massive range of electric cars. Germany also needs to do more in our industry. In terms of the economy as a whole, we are currently on the decline, then things will start to look up again. Does it have so much to do with the government, with taxes? I don’t know.”