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The Local Zeitgeist
'We need a real leader - like Willy Brandt'
Photo: DPA

'We need a real leader - like Willy Brandt'

Published: 12 Jan 2012 14:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Jan 2012 14:10 GMT+01:00

As politicians pile pressure on embattled President Wulff, The Local hit the streets to see what normal Berliners have to say about their head of state, for the latest edition in the Zeitgeist series.

Wulff has been in the firing line since it emerged that he did not declare a €500,000 loan from a friend’s wife – and then angrily phoned executives at Germany’s best-selling newspaper Bild when he discovered they were going to publish a story on the affair.

Since then the flow of stories, allegations and revelations about Wulff have filled the nation’s media, with criticism of what many regard as his opaque conduct increasing every day.

The discussion has turned to whether he should resign, just 18 months after being appointed for a five-year term.

The Local went out to ask people whether Wulff should step down – and if so, who should replace him.

Click here to see what more Berliners had to say

“No he should stay, he’s done nothing wrong,” said 40-year-old Ciftici Ramazan, a stall holder. “There are much worse things that a politician could do, but I’d rather Merkel were the president.”

Others shared Ramazan’s opinion, like 21-year-old floor layer Tafnes Charra, who said, “I think he’s a good man. I mean, he’s got a good name at least.”

Berlin tour guide Sonia Amiti, 49, said she hankered after a different kind of leader. “I would much rather have a more honest leader, a man who stands for his country and his country’s needs instead of money,” she said.

“Someone like Willy Brandt. He was a real leader.”

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

22:56 January 12, 2012 by mos101392
I agree that as an elected official, you must assume you are held at a higher standard. However, can it be possible that he has friends too? Are only the banks allowed to give loans? I have given friends loans that had financial difficulties and the banks would not help. The banks are more willing to bury an individual but have no problem bailing out 100 billion euro loans to countries.

This sounds to me to be more of a political killing than anything else.If I were an investigator, I would look at who has most to gain from his departure.

Hold up your shoe if you receive German welfare! lol You see, they have nothing better to do with their time.

I would really like to know the ratio of those demonstrating that are receiving welfare.

BTY- I am only an American observing the German news, I do not profit from either side and only providing alternative views. I can say I would insure I am squeaky clean before I enter German politics and would not fart against the wind! :O)
14:36 January 14, 2012 by JohnnesKönig
I see this issue to be similar to politics in the US... Most people are caught up in their own lives and read a headline or hear a soundbite and are immediately influence by the media hype.

If you really care about your nation and believe in the democratic election process, then you have to be informed to what the FACTS are...

The media is NOT your friend! It is business and business as usual!
10:50 January 17, 2012 by Ralph Krall
The Germans and their good Deeds 14 January 2012

They have been setting up offices in Tunisia and Egypt and probably Libya as well.

Organizations that, on the face of it, are supposed to assist Poor People in those tormented countries.

But do they?

Or are the more than a kindness to people that probably, for the first time, have a chance to stand up and do things for themselves instead of standing on street corners holding their hands open.

I saw a reportage on German Television on the Poor and the Empty Seaside Resorts.

There was a Family sleeping 10 people to one Room on Floor Cushions and Blankets and the one woman complained that there was No gas, water, not even a toilet.

You can¦#39;t tell me that ten people are unable to build themselves a toilet, however primitive?

They are known as professional beggars and Germany is at fault by encouraging people like this or have they other objectives?

What is really behind those people that set themselves up in offices in foreign lands to help?

Something is not quite right there.

When at home, in Germany, there are so many pensioners living below the poverty line and where 70 year old women have to collect empty bottles for a few euros

And those Charity Organizations throw money at foreigners.

For What?

Doesn¦#39;t this deserve to be investigated?

What reason is behind their charitable deeds?

They are not Pure!

Because Libya, or Egypt or Afghanistan or Tunisia is not helpless.

They have made careers out of Begging Germany for baksheesh

When it is so badly needed at home for the Old, Cold and Hungry.

There are always alternate reasons why German companies would set up relief help to a country that need it less than your own German people.

You Germans worry about rubbish that Wulff said or didn¦#39;t say.

Who cares?

It¦#39;s all political maneuvers and jealousy.

You are still a Neid Society.

Shame on you Germany, you should rather put your heads together and rid yourself of the Curse of the Neo Nazis, a band of Hooligans in leather outfits that frequent sex and sado bars.

They are the Shame of Germany.

So you have a lot to Worry about.

The story of Wulff is Banal and not worthy of Talking about.

Clean your Country of People that harm you and your Reputation, Not Insignificant Politicians.

I am so ashamed of you and your Interfering Nature

Ralph Krall
08:12 January 24, 2012 by McM
Looks like a witch hunt, smells like witch hunt, tastes like witch hunt, oh, it is a witch hunt.
19:46 February 2, 2012 by neunElf
"a real leader like Willy Brandt"?

Willy Brandt promoted "Ostpolitik" while having, presumably without his knowledge, Communists agents on his staff.

Wulff is accused of minor charges of using his office for preferential treatment.

People get the kind of government they deserve!
03:30 April 12, 2012 by GermanMonarchist
We need a real leader....... Like Kaiser Wilhelm II. We need leaders who actually care about Germany's well being and cultural survival. No politician I know of besides Erika Steinbach I believe shows any belief in preserving German culture
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