• Germany edition
 
The Local's media roundup
Gauck 'cannot meet all expectations'
Photo: DPA

Gauck 'cannot meet all expectations'

Published: 19 Mar 2012 11:44 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Mar 2012 11:44 GMT+01:00

Gauck told the country in his acceptance speech on Sunday it had not elected "a saviour or a holy man or an angel, but a person from the middle part of the population." He emphasized that he has "rough edges and can't do everything."

Gauck, a former pastor, said he wanted to motivate people to take responsibility - especially people who don't vote. He also wants to stand for freedom and responsibility and said that meant "social responsibility, integration and European solidarity."

He said he had made freedom a key point because in Germany "unlike in the USA or Poland - it is too little respected here." Gauck intends to go to Poland for his first official state visit.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung gave its editorial the headline President Moses and wrote that "even when some think Joachim Gauck is a political Moses, the new president will not transform Germany into a pastor's house."

The paper went on to write that following the disappointing experience of Gauck's predecessors – both of whom resigned – the hope was that Germany "will be disappointed in by an acceptable amount" with the choice of Gauck. The paper noted that Gauck would not be able to fix everything

"With Chancellor [Angela] Merkel and President Gauck there are now two east Germans leading our country, the Leipziger Volkszeitung wrote. "This shows a piece of normalcy on the way toward unity." The paper said it was now up to Gauck to use the "enormous confidence bonus" he received to work as a go-between between politics and society and between east and west."

It is Gauck's job to restore "dignity and appreciation" to the presidential post and for citizens to take up Gauck's invitation to get involved in the process. "When both of these are even only partially achieved, then yesterday really was a beautiful Sunday," the paper wrote referring to how Gauck described the day in his acceptance speech.

Noting that the presidential office is largely a ceremonial post with no political powers, the business daily Handelsblatt said Gauck should use his new job "to teach the powerful about being moral in office and having loyalty to the country." The paper said it was up to Gauck to show the country what it could learn from a president, noting that in her two previous choices for the office, Chancellor Angela Merkel had failed to find someone who was able to lead effectively.

While it is rare that a president is elected with such an "enormous majority," the populist Bild Zeitung wrote, "the single drop of bitterness was the 108 abstentions, that no doubt came from Gauck's own supporting camp.” Although it did not explain why this would be the case, the paper said it did not matter.

“A weakened president? That's all nonsense." The paper noted that it would have been impossible for Gauck to achieve a 99 percent support rate, as was typical in East Germany. "A freely elected president doesn't need that," the paper said.

Bild went on to write that "Gauck is not a consensus president, but one who wants some fresh wind but also some headwind. Therefore he says things that are often forgotten: Freedom is not a matter of course, but requires a lot from everyone." The paper clearly believes the 72-year-old ex-pastor is up to the job.

Germans have high expectations for the new president, wrote the Hamburger Abendblatt, noting that it would be impossible for Gauck to meet them all. Some two-thirds of Germans expect Gauck to stand up for the weaker elements of society, while a similar proportion expects the new president to speak his mind to politicians.

The most important topics for Gauck to embrace are freedom and family, according to 75 percent of Germans, the paper wrote, while 65 percent expect him to fight the financial crisis. What is clear is that "the Germans are hoping for an authority like the president who can do some clear talking. At the same time it's clear that he won't be able to please everyone,” the paper concludes.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:02 March 20, 2012 by Michel_Berlin
Walking on water is not needed!

I only expect that he now, that he is on top of Germany, doesn't change his ways.

That he keeps on warning the mighty and powerful of becoming to complacent and arrogant....that he keeps on urging the people to take the responsibility of their own lifes and for Germany....and that he keeps on stepping on the toes of the lefties! :)

And doing all that without giving a **** about political correctness!
Today's headlines
Woodcarving champions - in pictures
Photo: DPA

Woodcarving champions - in pictures

Chainsaws, wood planes and sand paper were out over the weekend in Saxony-Anhalt where more than 30 artists competed in the International Woodcarving Championships. READ  

Hamburg could treat infected Ebola doctor
Liberian health workers in protective clothing bury an Ebola victim in early July. Photo: DPA

Hamburg could treat infected Ebola doctor

A World Health Organisation doctor infected with the deadly Ebola virus while trying to help stop it spreading through West Africa could travel to a Hamburg clinic for treatment. READ  

Germany evacuates embassy in Libya
Black smoke billowing from a storage depot of fuel that was hit by a rocket the night before near the airport in Tripoli on July 28th. Photo: EPA/SABRI ELMHEDWI

Germany evacuates embassy in Libya

UPDATE: Germany pulled its embassy staff out of Tripoli on Monday, a day after advising all its citizens currently in Libya to leave the strife-torn country immediately. READ  

Police kill fleeing drug dealer with bad shot
Photo: DPA

Police kill fleeing drug dealer with bad shot

A policeman is being investigated for manslaughter after he shot a fleeing man, wanted on drug charges, in the back of the head. The officer claimed he had aimed for his legs. READ  

Germany's students fail to graduate in time
A German student protests against the Bologna reforms in Mainz in 2010. Photo: DPA

Germany's students fail to graduate in time

Leaked figures show the average student in Germany still takes around four years to complete a bachelor's degree, suggesting controversial reforms to higher education have so far failed to cut down the number of Germany's perpetual students. READ  

Lawmakers earn millions on the side
Bavarian lawmaker Peter Gauweiler made almost €1 million on the side. Photo: DPA

Lawmakers earn millions on the side

A quarter of all politicians in the German Parliament are making additional income on top of their parliamentary salary, a transparency group said on Saturday. Thirteen lawmakers have made more than €100,000 in the last few months. READ  

Schweinsteiger sorry for holiday video
Schweinsteiger has apologized after the video of him on holiday was posted on YouTube. Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger sorry for holiday video

UPDATE: Germany’s World Cup winning star Bastian Schweinsteiger has apologized after a video emerged of him on YouTube leading a chant insulting Borussia Dortmund supporters and players. READ  

Sale stopped of oldest message in a bottle
Konrad Fischer with his find. Photo: DPA

Sale stopped of oldest message in a bottle

UPDATE: A fisherman who found the world's oldest message in a bottle tossed into the sea in northern Germany has failed in his attempt to sell it on eBay. The auction was stopped at the last minute. READ  

JobTalk Germany
Job seekers frustrated with application wait
Photo: DPA

Job seekers frustrated with application wait

A new YouGov survey shows job seekers in Germany are exasperated with the application process, complaining about poor job adverts and slow responses. Recruiters agree. READ  

Germany's biggest tabloid attacks Islam
Bild editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann said there was no room for such comments in Bild publications but stopped short of an apology. Photo: DPA

Germany's biggest tabloid attacks Islam

Germany's biggest newspaper, Bild, was forced to climb down over the weekend after a highly critical and controversial comment piece which attacked Islam as a barrier to integration appeared in its Sunday sister paper. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Sport
Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Photo: DPA
National
Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,219
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd