• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Does Germany trust Obama to lead the way?'

The Local · 20 Jun 2013, 13:01

Published: 20 Jun 2013 13:01 GMT+02:00

The mood varied in the dailies. Conservative paper Die Welt wondered how far Chancellor Angela Merkel and Obama were in agreement on economic strategies. For Merkel, “austerity is a bitter conditio sine qua non. Obama does not like this, making it a real transatlantic disagreement.”

“America has become more foreign to us and this situation is the same the other way around. Europe has become more foreign to America,” the paper added.

Heavyweight daily the Süddeutsche Zeitung explored Germany's relationship with recent US leaders, and their equal dislike of both Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush.

“While they despised Bush, considering him to be a dumb cowboy, [the Germans] are no more at ease with Obama, the cool analyst, who kills terrorist suspects with drones, and whose secret service monitors the internet,” wrote the paper.

Meanwhile, said the paper, Europe longed for the respect of the US but was growing increasingly nervous as the superpower began to take charge on meatier world issues – such as “terrorism in Africa.”

“Obama had a message for these critics,” Süddeutsche Zeitung said. “The Wall is gone. But the story isn't over yet. The world is still a dangerous place.'”

Disappointment was thinly veiled in Berlin regional centre-left newspaper the Berliner Zeitung, which dismissed Obama's appearance as “especially embarrassing”.

While the president had the natural ability to excite a crowd about whatever he pleased, this time there were no specifics. “Perhaps the most important politician in the world has nothing planned. This is bad news,” wrote the paper.

The Tagesspiegel Berlin daily was more forgiving. “Although there is always a hint of pathos in Obama's speeches, he avoided it in excess while speaking on the eastern side of the Brandenburg Gate.”

Despite being peppered with emotive phrases like “the wall is history, now let's write a new chapter of history together,” these served more as “a sober call on the Western world to act; an appeal against the marriage of comfort with complacency.”

This, the paper said, was aimed at changing the minds of those who were beginning to question Obama's ability to act.

Regional newspaper the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger also expressed approval of the appearance, albeit rather half-heartedly. “The US president lived up to expectations,” it said, without revealing what those expectations could have been.

“His message was that it wasn't about spying on individuals, but about protecting them. A nice sentence that can mean everything or nothing. Like many of this president's soundbites,” wrote the paper.

Story continues below…

Elsewhere in the regional press, the Stuttgarter Zeitung seemed impressed with Obama's rhetoric, calling the visit “a lesson for German election campaigners.”

The Südwest Presse, however, questioned the German public's faith in Obama. The visit was of great worth, it said, but “do the Germans trust the Nobel Peace Prize winner to lead the way to a beautiful new world?” it asked.

“Unfortunately the lasting impression is that he is a man of big promises and little progress,” the paper concluded.

DPA/The Local/jcw/kkf

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich shooting
 Social media a blessing and a curse in Munich shooting
The Munich gunman may have hacked a Facebook account to lure some of the victims to the McDonald's fast-food outlet where the shooting began. Photo: DPA

Social networks were both a curse and a blessing in the deadly shopping mall shooting in Munich, as police sometimes found themselves chasing fictitious leads and false alarms.

Munich shooting
Munich pulls together after shopping mall shooting
Photo: DPA

In the chaos after the Munich mall shooting, city residents spontaneously offered shelter to strangers - a move that Chancellor Angela Merkel said showed that Germany's strength lies in its values.

Munich shooting
Merkel deplores 'night of horror' in Munich
Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said Munich had suffered a "night of horror" after a shooting spree in the southern German city left nine people dead.

Munich shooting
Munich attacker was shy video game fan
People laying flowers at the site of the shootings. Photo: DPA.

David Ali Sonboly was a quiet, helpful teenager who loved playing video games. His neighbours say there were no warning signs before his deadly rampage at a Munich shopping mall.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman inspired by rightwing Breivik: police
Photo: DPA

The lone teenager who shot dead nine people in a gun rampage in Munich was "obsessed" with mass killers such as Norwegian rightwing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group, police said Saturday.

Munich shooting
Turks, Kosovans and a Greek among shooting victims
Photo: DPA

Three Turkish citizens were among the nine people killed in Germany's Munich mall shooting. Three Kosovans were also among the nine victims.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman was likely not Isis terrorist: police
Flowers laid at the Olympia Shopping Centre underground station. Photo: DPA

According to initial investigations by Munich police, the young man who went on a shooting rampage in Munich on Friday evening was a lone gunman without motive, not a terrorist.

Munich shooting
'Lone' Munich shooter kills nine, commits suicide
Photo: DPA

A teenage German-Iranian gunman who killed nine people in a shooting spree at a busy Munich shopping centre and then committed suicide had likely acted alone, German police said Saturday.

As it happened
Nine dead in shooting rampage in Munich
File photo: DPA

Nine people are dead after "at least one person" went on a shooting spree in a Munich shopping centre on Friday evening. An attacker is believed to be among the dead.

German Turkish community split by unrest after coup plot
Pro-Erdogan protesters in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Hatred between supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and those opposed to him has exploded on social media in Germany in the wake of a failed coup attempt last Friday.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Analysis & Opinion
Nice was an attack on France, not on Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,713
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd