• Germany's news in English
 

New president: dare to have more Europe

The Local · 23 Mar 2012, 12:10

Published: 23 Mar 2012 12:10 GMT+01:00

Gauck, who is the first head of state from the former communist east, delivered the impassioned appeal for more European "solidarity" to members of both houses of parliament, in the sunlight-filled main chamber of the Reichstag building.

"We must keep saying yes to Europe," he said. "Particularly in times of crisis, we must dare to have more Europe."

Languishing under the Nazi and then the communist dictatorships had fuelled his dream a united Europe living in peace and prosperity, the 72-year-old said.

"Europe was the promised land for my generation."

"For my grandchildren, Europe has long been part of their day-to-day reality, with freedom across borders and the opportunities and concerns of an open society. This reality is an achievement, not only for my grandchildren."

Germany, as the rescue-fund paymaster for Europe's stricken member states, has come under pressure throughout the sovereign debt crisis to boost its contributions to the bailouts in the face of Chancellor Angela Merkel's resistance.

The turmoil has also exposed old rifts, with protesters on the streets of Athens branding Merkel a "Nazi" for her hard-line stance.

Gauck, a Lutheran pastor and former East German democracy activist, said he would make the integration of Germany's large immigrant population and the struggle against the far right priorities of his presidency.

In a rousing passage of the 23-minute inaugural speech, Gauck said Germany would stand united in the fight against extremists.

"Your hatred will only spur us on," he thundered in reference to a group of neo-Nazi militants thought to have killed 10 people – mostly shopkeepers of Turkish origin - over a seven-year period.

The murder spree has sparked a new drive to ban the anti-immigrant National Democratic Party of Germany, which had ties to the suspected murderers.

Gauck will make his first trip abroad as president to Poland next week.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:35 March 23, 2012 by ChrisRea
A good first step as a president.
17:32 March 23, 2012 by Englishted
Languishing under the Nazis?

He was 5 when the war ended .
18:04 March 23, 2012 by michael4096
@ Chango Mutney - perhaps it's the speech a brit pres would have made if the brits had had ever had enough balls to embrace europe instead of always fighting it

"...five countries chained together in huge debt..." compared to... Oh! How short memories can be.
19:04 March 23, 2012 by klaus stoiber
What a diplomatic yet expected speech from the president when he said he will fight nazis and integrate foreigners, yet everybody knows, but not everyone wants to accept that if there were to be less foreigners here in germany, then there will be less nazis. If we had more jobs for unemployed GERMANS, we would have less nazis. Its not as if we expected a new president to start saying that foreigners must get out,cmon people, lets accept this.

Neo nazism has many similarities with the original nazis, HOWEVER, they differ in that the germany of today is being overwhelmed by foreigners, eroding german culture, language and fatherland. Which german can honestly tell me that in 20 years from now when they call Deutsche Telekom for help that an automated voice will tell them , press 1 for german, press 2 for turkish.

Neo nazis are here for a reason, and they dont like whats happening in germany. Why should germany become like the USA or London UK? Im happy with what germany was like 50 years ago: less/limited foreigners, strong economy. I dont like whats happening in my country.
21:26 March 23, 2012 by frankiep
Please tell me that you don't have any kids to whom you can spread your disgusting nazi loving worldview to.

Oh, and by the way, 50 years ago Germany's strong economy was being propped up by direct investment from the US and UK....foreigners.
23:13 March 23, 2012 by joysonabraham
@kalus

you often seem to miss many things. How do you think you will have strong economies and less foreigners. When you say no foreigners and then foreign countries say no German products. Where is the strong economy then. People need a car not always a German car. Similarly people need planes and not always a US plane. Germany needs tourist from other countries and other countries needs German tourists too. In today's world no country can produce everything it needs and consume everything they produce. We all need each other.

You need to buy from others, others need to buy from you. Otherwise you wont have jobs to give to nazi unemployed and non nazi unemployed alike. Thats the way it works.

if you say foreigners create neo nazies. Why you cant react in other ways than nazi ways. Reacting violently to foreigners is not the solution and blocking off foreigners is also not the perfect solution.

Solution is in deciding the factors to be verified before giving citizenship. And don't think that all foreigners in Germany are citizens or eating our social security or taking away some job which could have been gone to similarly skilled German. I am not German.

Some of them are tourist, some work here only for a few years(experts in specific fields, they contribute to your social security and leave without taking a dime, they pay taxes too), some have citizenship(if you have problem with these type of people do debate ti with your government rather than attacking all foreigner as if all of them are here to take something away from Germany. As i mentioned in another reply to you the language is not always easy to learn to everyone. You need technically skilled guys and the skills you need to learn technology is not the one you need for language, it varies from person to person. SO just because a few of them speak English or any other language you cant consider them as forcefully rejecting Deutsche from their heart. They may have tried and failed or just slowly improving. How can you klaus decide these things with colour of the people or the language you hear from their mouth.
12:23 March 25, 2012 by Struwel
Which german can honestly tell me that in 20 years from now when they call Deutsche Telekom for help that an automated voice will tell them , press 1 for german, press 2 for turkish."

What is wrong with that? It's just missing - press 3 for English, press 4 for French, still some other languages, perhaps.

"Neo nazis are here for a reason, and they dont like whats happening in germany."

What is the reason and what is happen in Germany what they don't like, please tell us. And why don't they like it?

"If we had more jobs for unemployed GERMANS, we would have less nazis."

I think that that is wrong. More jobs for unemployed Germans wil not change anything. Right now they may try to give the impression that they care about a part (you can be black or brown and still be German but that are not the people they consider to be German) of the Germans but I think that it's about that they want to form the socitey according their picture. First it's against people who's skin have another color or those who don't speak well German, then it goes on to be against gays, those who still have an own opinion and so on until we are back to the times where people believed that every red haired woman is a witch. No, not with me.
Today's headlines
Germans still love couch and TV in their free time
Sitting front of the TV - Germany's favourite pastime. Photo: DPA

Germans still love couch and TV in their free time

4 hours ago

A new study shows that Germans' best-loved activity is sitting in front of the idiot box - and when they're not doing that they're probably slumped in front of a computer.

This Week in History
The day that 'sealed East Germany's fate'
At 3am on August 23rd, MPs applauded as the People's Chamber set a date for reunification. Photo: DPA

The day that 'sealed East Germany's fate'

3 hours ago

After the Berlin Wall was destroyed in 1989, East and West Germany still had a long way to go before they could become one nation. But in August 1990, the date was finally set for the birth of reunified Germany.

Migrant crisis
Merkel: Austria tragedy a ‘warning’ for Europe
Forensic experts investigate a truck in which refugees were found dead as it stands by the Autobahn in Austria. Photo: DPA.

Merkel: Austria tragedy a ‘warning’ for Europe

3 hours ago

The "horrible" discovery on Thursday of between 20 and 50 dead migrants on a truck in Austria is a warning to Europe to get to grips with the migrant crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. Other leading German politicians laid out their plans for handling the influx of refugees.

Facebook to meet gov on Internet hate-mongering
Are Facebook keeping a close enough eye on hate speech? Photo: DPA

Facebook to meet gov on Internet hate-mongering

10 hours ago

Update: Facebook on Thursday accepted an invitation from Germany's justice minister to discuss doing more to purge the social network of racist posts after widespread complaints from users.

Berlin orchestra angers Israel with Iran concert
Renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim is under attack by Israel's government. Photo: DPA

Berlin orchestra angers Israel with Iran concert

6 hours ago

Israeli-Argentinian conductor Daniel Barenboim is hoping to take one of Germany's top orchestras to Iran to perform a concert there, the Berlin State Opera said Thursday, drawing angry protests from Israel.

Netzpolitik Affair
Merkel's office 'hid knowledge of probe'
The Chancellery. Photo: Heinz Albers

Merkel's office 'hid knowledge of probe'

7 hours ago

After digital rights blog Netzpolitik revealed that state prosecutors were investigating two of its journalists for treason, Chancellor Angela Merkel's office reacted with shock. Now Spiegel reports that the Chancellery knew about the investigation in April.

Internet surveillance
Spies 'traded Germans' data for US software'
Photo: DPA

Spies 'traded Germans' data for US software'

8 hours ago

Media reports on Thursday alleged that German spies traded access to information about the country to the US National Security Agency (NSA) in exchange for surveillance software.

Man City snap up De Bruyne for €80 million
Kevin De Bruyne. Photo: DPA

Man City snap up De Bruyne for €80 million

10 hours ago

Manchester City have signed one of the stars of last season's Bundesliga campaign. But he didn't come cheap.

NATO troops join in large German training exercise
NATO paratroopers training in Romania on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

NATO troops join in large German training exercise

11 hours ago

More than 1,000 NATO paratroopers jumped from aircraft above Germany on Wednesday in one of the alliance's largest airborne training exercises in Europe since the Cold War ended, the US army said.

Lightning strikes at least twice in Cottbus
Lightning over Germany. Photo: DPA

Lightning strikes at least twice in Cottbus

1 day ago

If you feel like you are an unlucky person by nature you probably want to avoid Cottbus. A study released on Wednesday shows that the old wisdom that lightning never strikes twice is far from true in the town near the Polish border.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Weekend of anti-refugee violence shocks Germany
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
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

7,032
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd