• Germany's news in English
 

Gauck: solidarity the greatest Christmas gift

Published: 25 Dec 2012 08:55 GMT+01:00

"Yes we want a country that shows solidarity," he said. "A country which opens up the way to a good life for the young, and creates room for older people in our midst. A country which joins those who have lived here for generations with those who have only just made their homes here."

He said it was in the interests of the country to embed caring for one another into its policies.

"Who finds no caring and gives none, cannot grow, cannot blossom," he added.

And referring to a recent visit he made to a refugee home in Brandenburg, Gauck said, "We will never be able to take in all those people who come. But we will grant asylum with open hearts to those who are persecuted - and will greet migrants who are needed by our country with good will."

Freiburg Archbishop and head of the German Catholic Church Robert Zollitsch warned of social splits within Germany. "The poor remain behind and the wealth is increasingly in the hands of the few," he told Monday's Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper.

He said the idea of increasing tax on the rich to fund socially important projects should no longer be a taboo.

Head of Germany's Protestant Church Nikolaus Schneider also stressed that those on the edges of society should be the focus at this time of year.

"The Christmas message challenges us to raise our voices for these people and to search for social justice," he said in Hannover. He gave this a political twist by calling for Germany to show increased solidarity with Greece and other European countries suffering during the euro crisis.

"Europe is more than an economic zone," he said. "Europe is a project of peace."

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:25 December 25, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
Hello, I hope you all have a happy Christmas!

With the rogues we now have in the Bundestag, it may be our last happy one!

Even the President in his yearly Christmas address, seems to have lost all contact with the common community. An upper-class, which is ready to spend taxpayers money all over the world, to help governments which are neither democratic or honest, cannot itself be trusted.

I wonder what these dreamers in Berlin would do, if they had to live from 500 Euros a month, just as many of their own ethnic group must. Germany is certainly better off than many other countries, but 90% of the people have little from the wealth, about which so much is said. Often migrants enjoy a better standard of living and health care than is given to the poorer Germans. This is one reason why right-wing radicals are still able to find so much support!

Good luck to everybody in the New Year, let us hope the 13 on the end does not turn out to be an omen.
11:35 December 25, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I have no doubt he is sincere but I wish his words could have some meaning in Germany. Everything he has wished for is the opposite of reality in Germany. The only solidiarity shown be Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde is with her bankster buddies. The young get hoodwinked into a system that is corrupt to the core. The old get trodden on. Those who have recently made their homes here get alienated. Asylum is not granted with open hearts it is granted with a scowl.

Yes tax the rich more. But I fear the idea of taxing the rich is to hit the middle classes and those with a job harder whilst leaving the super elites alone to cream off the top with government help and protect corrupt toxic banks at the expense of the 99% of the population.

In any case. Merry Christmas everyone and whether religious or not it is good to have one day of the year to enjoy stress free with our families. They may decide to tax that soon also.
11:54 December 25, 2012 by smart2012
Merry Christmas to all, with same or different opinions than mine, as freedom of speech is the most beautiful thing. Let the other talk and carefully listen, as u can learn from everyone - but BILD :)
12:41 December 25, 2012 by raandy
That is what the President does, He preaches solidarity, compassion , generosity and purpose , good political speech. He is not preaching to the choir ,however.

Merry Christmas to all , hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable time.
14:23 December 25, 2012 by The-ex-pat
So in a nutshell, do as I say, not do as I do.............
16:41 December 25, 2012 by lenny van
I thought that Gauck was a former pastor, but a pastor knows that the greatest gift at Christmas is the Christchild.
16:50 December 25, 2012 by melbournite
Solidarity for Greece? yet all the official policies particularly target Greek workers, the vulnerable and the social security system. Talk is cheap isnt it, in a world that awards the Obama - Lord of the drones - a peace prize, I'm not surprised by political doublespeak anymore. The economic system we have privleges the strong over the weak, the multinational over the small business, rich countries over poor countries. Thats not an accident - thats what its designed to do. and Gauck knows it
16:52 December 25, 2012 by Deutschguy
Can you please come to the US and make that same speech? Especially in Red States!
19:14 December 25, 2012 by FogFimFoo
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:12 December 25, 2012 by MrNosey
@Berlin fuer alles

You seem to hate Germany and the Germans so much, judging by your comments on threads you post on, that you must be one sad and lonely muppet living a very painful life in the fatherland.
21:40 December 25, 2012 by MattyB
11:35 December 25, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles

You hit the nail on the head with this bit:

Yes tax the rich more. But I fear the idea of taxing the rich is to hit the middle classes and those with a job harder whilst leaving the super elites alone to cream off the top with government help and protect corrupt toxic banks at the expense of the 99% of the population.

Naive individuals like Deutschguy fall for it every time though. They ignore inconvenient truths like this:

http://www.reuters.com/subjects/income-inequality/washington
23:41 December 25, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
MrNose. I am never lonely with stalkers such as yourself watching my every comment on these forums. Even on Christmas day. Merry Christmas and read all the other comments that seem to more or less go along with my views. At least Germany still allows freedom of speech. Probably something you would like to curtail. :-)
01:01 December 26, 2012 by StoutViking
Here be the full speech, where he declares that the problem in Germany is not the foreigners but the German hostility.

http://youtu.be/GhP9pSZZYb4

I'm a foreigner and I got no idea what's he talking about... Could it be something else?
15:53 December 26, 2012 by Deutschguy
@Matty: It's not me that "falls for it every time", it's you and the folks who need to hear about national solidarity who fall for GOP spin about 'lowering taxes'.

Obama has lowered taxes on 95% of Americans. It's the GOP who is all or nothing on eliminating the Bush tax cuts, which have cost the Treasury billions in needed revenue.

And remember, it was Bush who gave out the first TARP bailout to banks. And he lowered taxes on the wealthy AT THE SAME TIME
Today's headlines
Robots woo crowds at Hannover trade fair
Photo: DPA

Robots woo crowds at Hannover trade fair

Collaborative robots and intelligent machinery may have wowed the crowds at this year's Hannover Messe, but experts see German industry as having some way to go towards incorporating them on factory floors in what could become the fourth industrial revolution. READ  

Thousands protest EU-US trade talks
Photo: DPA

Thousands protest EU-US trade talks

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Europe on Saturday to oppose the world's biggest free trade pact between the US and European Union. READ  

EU-US trade talks prompt German ire
Photo: DPA

EU-US trade talks prompt German ire

In much of Europe any mention of TTIP might receive a blank stare, in Germany the proposed US-EU free trade pact is likely to prompt a volley of angry words. READ  

Auschwitz expert slams Nazi justice record
Photo: DPA

Auschwitz expert slams Nazi justice record

Oskar Gröning, 93, a former Nazi known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz", goes on trial in Germany on Tuesday in what could be the last Nazi war crimes trial while an expert calls the country's judicial record 'miserable'. READ  

Turkish Airlines: married pilots are safer pilots
Photo: DPA

Turkish Airlines: married pilots are safer pilots

The general manager of Turkish Airlines has urged single pilots to marry, after the Germanwings tragedy blamed on a pilot with psychological problems. READ  

Germany and Greece
'It hurts when Germans call Greece a failed state'
Thanasis Glavinas outside one of the German parliament's buildings. Photo: Private

'It hurts when Germans call Greece a failed state'

With the war of words – and cashflows – between Greece and Germany showing no sign of dying down, The Local meets one young Greek who's come to see what the Germans have to teach about running a country successfully. READ  

Interior Minister wants quicker deportations
'Loitz doesn't need any asylum seekers' reads the graffiti. Photo:DPA

Interior Minister wants quicker deportations

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière called on Friday for state governments to speed up deportations of failed asylum applicants, in the latest round in a war of words between the federal government and the states. READ  

VW CEO survives despite departure rumours
Photo: DPA

VW CEO survives despite departure rumours

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has dodged a broadside from company chairman Ferdinand Piech which many thought would unseat him from the troubled car maker. Instead, the steering committee has offered him an extension to his contract. READ  

Bayern doctor quits in spat with Guardiola
Tension on the touchline: Guardiola, Schweinsteiger and Müller-Wohlfahrt Photo: DPA

Bayern doctor quits in spat with Guardiola

The resignation of iconic club doctor Hans-Willhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt on Thursday evening threatens to unleash internal chaos at Bayern Munich after their Champions League humiliation at the hands of FC Porto. READ  

Deutsche Bahn flirts with drivers' strike deadline
An InterCity train in Hannover's main train station. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bahn flirts with drivers' strike deadline

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn has until 3 pm on Friday to respond to demands from the Train Drivers' Union (GDL) for a "reasonable provisional result" in talks over pay, conditions and union representation. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
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

7,240
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd