• Germany's news in English

Gauck criticises government savings plans as not fair enough

DDP/The Local · 12 Jun 2010, 10:35

Published: 12 Jun 2010 10:35 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Gauck was put up by the opposition parties as an alternative option for head of state to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s choice of Lower Saxony state premier Christian Wulff.

The former Protestant pastor, who earned national respect for his administration of the Stasi secret police files after the fall of the Wall, has attracted greater popular support than Wulff, according to a number of recent surveys.

Speaking on the ARD television programme Farbe bekennen, Gauck said the savings plans recently announced by the government did not immediately appear to be fair.

“We have to save. But I have problems with unequal saving,” he said.

He said he wanted to see the exact reasoning behind what he said was, “why some must save in one way, that they really feel, and others, who would not feel the cuts, are more spared.”

The previous government had been brave and correct to have made attempts to secure the social state from cuts and to have what he said, laid down limits. He said he could imagine cuts in the social security budget, but said such measures should be fair.

But when asked specifically whether he could support a proposed increase of tax rates for the wealthy – of 47 percent for an income of €250,000 and more, Gauck avoided a direct answer.

He could imagine, “that I would support something that would aid the country, and what would also promote internal peace,” he said.

Story continues below…

Gauck would be the favoured choice for 42 percent of Germans, compared with 32 percent who would choose Wolff, according to a poll conducted last week.

The president is elected by the Federal Assembly, which is made up of parliamentarians and representatives of the states. The decision on who to ask to replace Horst Köhler, who resigned abruptly earlier this month, will be taken on June 30.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd