• 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)

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
Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel
Photo: DPA

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel

Around 160 car owners are stuck after a gas station's storage tanks were filled with the wrong fuel, causing an estimated €100,000 in damage. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights

UPDATE: In the second day of their strike, Lufthansa pilots have, as promised, extended their industrial action to include long-haul international flights until the end of Tuesday. READ  

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called on Ukraine's allies to help the war-scarred nation pay off its gas debts to Russia, amid concern over gas supplies this winter. READ  

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force
Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks at the World Health Summit in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force

At the World Health Summit in Berlin, the Ebola crisis took centre stage at talks meant to create plans for how to handle future outbreaks. READ  

Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of
The Wiesbaden Museum in Hesse. Photo: DPA

Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of

The Wiesbaden Museum was once a collection house for art stolen from Jewish owners by the Nazi. With one painting, they hope to right at least one wrong while bringing awareness to its ongoing restitution work. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'It's only an internship if you're learning'

'It's only an internship if you're learning'

How long should an intern work for without being paid? At least eight months, according to a ruling by a court in western Germany last week. JobTalk looks at the warning signs for abusive internships. READ  

Single parents, common law families on rise
Photo: DPA

Single parents, common law families on rise

The German family structure is changing, with nearly a third of every family no longer living in the "classic model" and big differences in what family looks like in the former East and West, statistics agency Destatis announced on Monday. READ  

Four arrested in raids against Isis
Photo: DPA

Four arrested in raids against Isis

Police raided 15 homes across Germany over the weekend and arrested four suspected supporters of the Islamic State (Isis). They are alleged to have smuggled a teenager and thousands of winter military clothes to the terrorist group's frontlines. READ  

Munich Refugee Crisis
'There's no room but we have nowhere else to go'
Hassan, pictured outside the Bayernkaserne with two of his children, arrived in Munich from Syria. Photo: Mariane Schroeder

'There's no room but we have nowhere else to go'

Around 300 refugees are arriving in Munich each day, but accommodation centres are full. With authorities struggling for answers, The Local meets those at the sharp end of the crisis. READ  

Train Strike
Buses up prices, football fans brawl, trains return
Photo: DPA

Buses up prices, football fans brawl, trains return

UPDATE: Deutsche Bahn trains are chugging along again after a 50-hour train strike cost the service "tens of millions" and brought travel headaches across the country, leaving millions of passengers struggling for transportation over the weekend as well as at least one mass brawl in its tracks. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Travel
This is the man who has stopped Germany's trains
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Expats: Should I stay or should I go?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Which expat foods do you miss the most?
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,464
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd