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Chairman

Abdullah S. Kamel

akamel@okaz.com.sa

Director General

Waleed J. Kattan

wjkattan@okaz.com.sa

Deputy Director General

Abdulaziz Alsehli

asehli@okaz.com.sa

Editor-in-Chief

Somayya Jabarti

sjabarti@saudigazette.com.sa

Executive Editor

L. Ramnarayan Iyer

riyer@saudigazette.com.sa

Managing Editor (National)

Mahmoud Ahmad

mahmad@saudigazette.com.sa

Managing Editor (International)

Shams Ahsan

sahsan@saudigazette.com.sa

Jerome Cartillier

Joseph Nasr

For Trump, a complicated return to a White House in disarray

U

S President Don-

ald Trump returns

to the Oval Office

on Monday after

a two-week vaca-

tion rife with chaos — and the

dark clouds plaguing his fledg-

ling presidency show no signs

of clearing up.

Seven months after taking

office the real estate magnate’s

approval rating has plunged

to a record low. And far from

striking a more unifying tone,

Trump’s words and actions

continue to feed the sense of a

rudderless presidency, lurching

from one self-generated crisis

to the next.

In perhaps the worst to date,

he dealt a crushing blow to his

own embattled administration

by saying “both sides” were

to blame for the bloodshed in

Charlottesville, Virginia, fol-

lowing a rally by neo-Nazis and

white supremacists.

Al Gore, a former Demo-

cratic vice president, advised

Trump to “resign.” Mitt Rom-

ney, a recent Republican presi-

dential nominee, urged the

president to “acknowledge that

he was wrong” and “apologize.”

Parts of the business world

are now openly voicing exasper-

ation with Trump, as members

of his own Republican party —

long “off the record” — grow

more audible and assertive.

“The president has not yet

been able to demonstrate the

stability nor some of the compe-

tence that he needs to demon-

strate in order to be successful,”

Republican Senator Bob Corker

uttered in one chiseled phrase,

capturing the growing senti-

ment that Trump’s unpredict-

ability cannot sustain his four-

year presidential term.

With his return to Washing-

ton, number one on the presi-

dent’s to-do list is tax reform.

Delivering on that campaign

promise would mark Trump’s

first

significant

legislative

achievement since his January

swearing-in.

His verbal attacks on top

members of Congress have

cooled relations between the

White House and Capitol Hill,

but lawmakers with next year’s

midterm elections on the mind

also fear an open clash.

Top Republican lawmakers

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell

“recognize Trump for what he

is, and there’s no love lost,” said

Larry Sabato, a politics profes-

sor at the University of Virginia.

“But they have to protect

their members on the ballot in

November 2018,” he said.

“They have no choice but to

work with Trump, and Trump

knows that and enjoys playing

with them as a cat would a cor-

nered mouse.”

Friday’s ouster of Steve

Bannon, Trump’s controversial

former chief strategist and key

campaign ally, from the White

House could be seen as a turn-

ing point for an administration

in turmoil.

But the timing was disas-

trous, capping one of Trump’s

most catastrophic weeks yet af-

ter his series of ambiguous re-

marks on the white supremacist

rally in Charlottesville, which

ended with the death of a coun-

ter-protester at the hands of a

suspected Nazi sympathizer.

Bannon’s departure does of-

fer a semblance of clarity con-

cerning the balance of power in

the White House, where John

Kelly, a retired Marine general,

now reigns as the president’s

chief of staff.

But the president’s true

agenda remains unclear, and

Bannon’s status change from

White House power player to

outsider has policy experts

asking what will remain in the

administration of his extreme

anti-establishment views.

The 45th US president will

have an opportunity on Tues-

day to set the tone for his return

from holiday at a Phoenix, Ari-

zona rally, which could poten-

tially play out in a tense climate.

The city’s Democratic may-

or, Greg Stanton, urged the pres-

ident to delay the campaign-

style rally considering that “our

nation is still healing from the

tragic events in Charlottesville.”

Local officials fear Trump

will take advantage of being

surrounded by his supporters to

grant a pardon to Joe Arpaio, a

former sheriff and deeply divi-

sive figure known for his strong-

arm methods and zeal against

unauthorized immigrants.

He was recently convicted

for criminal contempt of court.

“If President Trump is com-

ing to Phoenix to announce a

pardon for former Sheriff Joe

Arpaio, then it will be clear that

his true intent is to enflame emo-

tions and further divide our na-

tion,” Stanton said in a statement.

The increasingly isolated

Trump will have to strike the

right balance between arous-

ing cheers from his base, a task

at which the former reality TV

star excels, and sending a mes-

sage of unity after a week that

rattled a nation already on edge

— and perhaps permanently

stained his presidency.

—AFP

We need to be grateful

This is in response to the article “Where do we belong?

The dilemma of expatriates in the Kingdom” (Aug. 18)

in “Voices” section of the newspaper. Expats, when

you love a flower you water it and let it grow, you do

not pluck it. When you love a country, you help it grow,

you pray for it, and do not badmouth it. Our times

in Saudi Arabia have been the best in our lives, with

or without nationality. Saudi Arabia never promised

anyone nationality, and we knew it the moment we

entered the Kingdom. Let’s not act surprised now,

waking up today to dramatize how we have not been

given nationalities, while the West does. This decision

was made by you 30 years back. No one forced you to

pick Saudi Arabia over the West. You came here out of

your own free will. Saudi Arabia paid you handsome

tax free salaries, cars, mobiles, free tickets to home,

free medical and several benefits the west never gives.

Complaining today smacks of sheer hypocrisy.

Afreen Baig, Online response

Saudi Arabia needs to look after its own nationals, the

20 million Saudis. They cannot afford 10 million expats

anymore. Try to understand its domestic problems.

With successful implementation of Vision2030,

hopefully Saudi Arabia will once again become provide

employment in future. Till then, pray for the country

that gave you 10 or 20 or 30 years of tax free salaries.

Lets not be ungrateful and tarnish our image. They are

watching our comments, and we shall reap whatever

we sow. Even Allah does not like the ungrateful. Look at

our own countries, and remain thankful as you spend

your life peacefully here.

Afreen Baig, Online response

I have been here for the last 10 years but has never

thought of Saudi Arabia as my home for a single

moment, even though I respect and love the country.

Wake up people it’s still not too late to recognize the

reality. Earn with grace and leave it when there is no

grace left in it.

Engr Arshad Khan, Online response

We don’t belong here. The Kingdom has made it pretty

clear to all expatriates. After having spent 6 years in

the Kingdom. we are heading home. Contrary to the

bad publicity Saudi Arabia gets, this has been a great

place for us to raise our kids. It has given us the ability

to travel and see new people and cultures, and of

course has been a source of blessing financially. Now

the journey is over, it’s time to head home.

James McDaniel, Online response

Germany aims to integrate migrant workers

A

S Germany strug-

gles to absorb

more than a mil-

lion migrants from

the Middle East

and Africa, the government is

hoping to avoid the mistakes it

made half a century ago when

it brought in a generation of

guest workers from Turkey.

In the 1960s, hundreds of

thousands of Turkish men were

invited in to fill labor shortages.

But Germany made no attempt to

help them learn the language or

upgrade their skills.

The result is that three mil-

lion Turks in Germany are still

struggling today. They are the

least integrated minority, with

an unemployment rate of about

16 percent, almost three times

the national average.

Now, two years after it threw

open its doors to the latest mi-

grants, Germany has devised an

integration strategy based on

language and job training intend-

ed to get the newcomers into

work and off welfare. Among the

changes are 600 hours of manda-

tory language lessons and fast-

tracked work permits.

These measures are starting

to show signs of success: a grow-

ing number of migrants are join-

ing a labor market where a re-

cord 1.1 million jobs are unfilled.

“Things are very different

here,” said Merhawi Tesfay, a

32-year-old Eritrean who was

hired by Kremer Machine Sys-

tems, an engineering company

in the town of Gescher in west-

ern Germany.

“In Eritrea you find work

through word of mouth. Here you

have the Job Centre and online

job sites. Everything comes with

too much bureaucracy and my

German wasn’t good enough.”

Tesfay was hired initially

as a trainee and then full-time,

through ELNet, a government-

funded project run by charities

who assign mentors to refugees.

He had been looking for work for

almost three years.

Waves of migrants, many

forced to flee Syria’s civil war,

began arriving in large numbers

two years ago, one of the biggest

migration movements Europe

had seen since World War II.

The challenge now for Ger-

many, which took in the largest

number of the incomers in west-

ern Europe, is to integrate them

into society over the long term.

With its strong economy, Ger-

many is better placed than many

European countries, especially in

southern Europe, to accept mi-

grants. German unemployment is

at its lowest since 1990 and seven

straight years of growth mean

the government can afford to put

aside more than 10 billion euros a

year for refugees.

“The lesson that Germany

learned is that integration is

something you work on,” said

Herbert Bruecker of Humboldt

University of Berlin. “It doesn’t

happen on its own.”

When the first Turkish guest

workers arrived in the 1960s,

German politicians, still pre-

occupied with rebuilding the

economy after World War II,

regarded them as a temporary

measure. The perception was

that Turks were guests who

would go back home.

The Turks of course did not

go home. And their wives and

children began following them,

just as the oil crisis of the early

1970s pushed Germany into a

recession that cost many guest

workers their jobs.

With low skills and little

grasp of the language, many

found it hard to find work again

as Germany shifted away from

industry toward automation

and services.

This time, Germany has tak-

en a different approach.

One month after her decision

to open Germany’s borders to

refugees fleeing war and persecu-

tion, Chancellor Angela Merkel

told parliament in September 2015

that Germany should learn from

its mistakes with the Turkish guest

workers and seek to integrate asy-

lum seekers from day one.

Since then, her government

has focused on language and vo-

cational training to help 1.2 mil-

lion asylum seekers get into a

manpower-hungry labor market

and wean them off Germany’s

generous welfare system.

Under legislation approved

in August 2016, integration

courses including language

learning were made mandatory

for all refugees and asylum seek-

ers from countries such as Syria,

Eritrea and Afghanistan.

The government is also

offering financial incentives

for companies that offer voca-

tional traineeships to refugees

and asylum seekers. This could

amount to half a new recruit’s

salary for a year.

More than 13,500 refugees

are taking part in these schemes,

which involve learning a profes-

sion at a technical college while

at the same time gaining experi-

ence with a company.

While it’s too early to say

whether the program is a suc-

cess in Germany, salary assis-

tance schemes have boosted

migrant employment rates in

Scandinavia.

“Most of the refugees come

from countries where they ei-

ther study or work,” said Chris-

tina Mersch, who heads a gov-

ernment-funded project at the

DIHK Chambers of Commerce

called ‘Companies integrate ref-

ugees’. “So it’s difficult to explain

to them that in Germany you can

do both simultaneously.”

Germany suffers from labor

shortages as its population ages.

This bodes well for the largely

low-skilled migrants given that

sectors requiring unskilled labor

such as catering and hospitality

are growing fastest.

“In the last three years, 1.6

million positions were created

in low-skilled sectors, 45 percent

of which were jobs for which

one requires no formal qualifi-

cations,” said Bruecker of Hum-

boldt University. “We don’t only

need doctors and engineers.”

Despite its integration

push, Germany appears to be

repeating one mistake it made

with the Gastarbeiter in the

1960s. Last year it granted few-

er applicants full refugee sta-

tus, suggesting it is expecting

some migrants to go home.

Temporary residence per-

mits, rather than full refugee sta-

tus, hamper integration, econo-

mists say, as this discourages

companies from hiring people

who may not remain in Germany.

In the first seven months of

last year, more than three-quar-

ters of Syrian applicants were

granted full refugee status and

just over one-fifth were given a

one-year residence permit.

Over the same period this

year, only one third of Syrians

were granted full refugee status

and six out of ten got a tempo-

rary permit.

“The main mistake is that

most refugees are being given

temporary residency permits

because of the false expecta-

tion that they would return,”

said Bruecker. “This could have

fatal economic consequences.

Why would firms invest in

someone whose prospects to

remain are uncertain?“

About 90 percent of the

new arrivals have said in sur-

veys they want to stay in Ger-

many permanently.

The stricter asylum rules

were quietly introduced last

year after Merkel’s conserva-

tives were punished in regional

elections by Germans angry with

her decision to welcome asylum

seekers. Voters backed the anti-

immigrant Alternative for Ger-

many (AfD), which is expected

to enter the national parliament

for the first time in a general

election on Sept. 24.

Whether Germany’s inte-

gration strategy succeeds will

depend largely on how many

migrants arrive in the months

and years after the election, in

which Merkel is expected to

win a fourth term.

“I don’t think Germany will

fail,” said Reiner Klingholz of

the Berlin Institute for Popu-

lation and Development, not-

ing that 116,000 asylum appli-

cations were filed in the first

seven months of this year, well

down on the crisis year of 2015.

“But another dramatic surge

in asylum arrivals may well over-

whelm the system,” he said. “The

first refugee crisis produced the

AfD. A second one could bring

down a government.”

— Reuters

OPINION

MONDAY 21 AUGUST 2017,

SAUDI GAZETTE

8