06:06 GMT +321 September 2017
    Member of the federal board of the CDU Erika Steinbach delivers a speech on the CDU party congress, on November 14, 2011 in Leipzig, eastern Germany

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    Erika Steinbach, human rights spokesperson for Angela Merkel's CDU party, has been criticized after she posted a picture that appears to predict that in 14 years' time, white people will be in a minority in Germany.

    German politician Erika Steinbach, who is human rights spokesperson for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, faces criticism after she tweeted a picture with the caption 'Germany 2030' that depicts a crowd of dark-skinned people curiously asking a single white child where she is from.

    The picture has the captions 'Germany 2030' and 'Where do you come from?'

    ​Steinbach posted the image on Saturday and caused a wave of mostly negative reaction on Twitter.

    'So Erika Steinbach is afraid of Indians? And tweets as blatantly unintelligently as ever… is there nothing she is ashamed of?'

    'You have — once again — crossed the fine line from right-wing populism to racism. I am sorry for you,' tweeted leading SDP politician Ulrich Kelber.

    'I like her picture of Germany in 2030 a lot more than many pictures of Germany in 2015.'

    'Hello, Erika Steinbach! We don't have an Indian problem, but an Arab problem. And not in 2030, but today.'

    ​Steinbach responded to the criticism later that day on Twitter.

    ​'To all those in denial of reality: more people than you think in Germany are worried that the natives will become a minority,' Steinbach wrote.

    'Erika Steinbach, thank you for remaining a strong voice for the German people. Legitimate concerns that the natives will become the minority!'

    On Monday the politician spoke to German newspaper Bild and sought to explain her controversial tweet.

    "That photo was sent to me by a worried father from Frankfurt, whose children only have two other German classmates. He sent that photo with the letter," Steinbach told Bild.

    "It is not an aggressive photo. There are no Arab refugees on it, but friendly Indians who are inquisitive and interested in the child."

    Asked whether Germany will really look like that photo in 2030, she replied, "The data indicates so."

    "In the big cities a significant proportion of the population is already non-German," Steinbach said.

    Steinbach was also accused of racism by the leaders of Germany's Green Party and the socialist Die Linke Party, who demanded she be forced to resign from the position of CDU human rights spokesperson.

    "For me this raises the question of how Mrs Steinbach can reconcile her racist statements with her position as human rights spokesperson," Green Party leader Anton Hofreiter told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger (Cologne City Gazette) newspaper.


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