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Wulff calls for tolerance in Christmas speech

The Local · 25 Dec 2010, 13:01

Published: 25 Dec 2010 13:01 GMT+01:00

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"Solidarity, understanding, getting along – these things don't happen on their own. We have to work for them," Wulff said in the speech at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, the president's official residence. "Our society lives on those who can see where they are needed, and don't endlessly think about whether they should get involved and take responsibility."

Over 200 people were invited to take part in the recording of the address, of whom around 190 soldiers, clergymen, children, scouts, athletes, nuns and volunteer community workers accepted the invitation. Instead of making the speech from behind a desk like his predecessors, Wulff stood before these guests as he spoke.

In a speech that enthusiastically embraced the country's multicultural reality, the president said German society was "free and colourful." "We live in different spheres of life," he added. "We are different in our origins, our religion, our education and our dreams of happiness. For a society of such diverse people to last, we need one thing most of all: respect. Respect for people who are different from ourselves."

Wulff also said that Germany's values were recognized internationally. "Our country is highly respected. Our free and tolerant society, and our reliability for large and small countries alike, is valued everywhere," he said, before reiterating Germany's commitment to the European Union.

"We expect the same from our partners," the head of state warned. "Everyone has to do their homework. We have faith in European unity and in the power of Europe."

Wulff said that German soldiers, policemen and development workers worked abroad to promote development, peace in the world and to fight terrorism. "Our thoughts are with them and their partners, children and parents, who will be missing them especially during the holidays," he said.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:57 December 25, 2010 by tallady
"We expect the same from our partners," I am sure you do,however not everyone is able to live up to the standards of this lofty place we call Germany.
02:52 December 26, 2010 by wood artist
tallady, I'm going to offer a thought about your comment.

The old quote goes like this:

Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be, and he will become as he can and should be.

If we have low expectations, people will meet them. If we have high expectations, people (usually) will strive to meet them.

If Germany is a leader then the country should ask that every other country attempt to emulate that leadership. True, not everyone can or will, but perhaps more might try.

09:49 December 26, 2010 by tallady
wood artist I like how you sum it all up

f Germany is a leader then the country should ask that every other country attempt to emulate that leadership. True, not everyone can or will, but perhaps more might try.

an old quote for you

when you have them by the ba--ls their hearts and minds will follow..
09:59 December 26, 2010 by raandy
How true,,,,Germany is for Germany,,these standards they are almost demanding are for their benefit ,so they will not have to continue to bail out the one size fits all currency called the EURO
10:17 December 26, 2010 by ECSNatale
I side with wood artist. I for one, am tired of seeing people fall to the lowest common denominator rather than strive to reach something higher. As a foreigner who chose to live here, I appreciate that there are many sides to Germany and that I can be as involved or uninvolved as I choose, however, where ever one is, we should try to make our world a better place. I have always been met with kindness, respect, and treated well when it counted; the occasional grumpy person on the street does not define the entire society.

Frohe Weihnachten Deutschland!
10:32 December 26, 2010 by storymann
People falling to the lowest common denominator,,in many cases is through no fault of their own,,not every person has the opportunity to rise above it as you obviously have.. and when the bar is set to high more and more will fail despite their desire to be part of the" haves".. expectations for a better life is everyones dream,but financial ,racial, and circumstances beyond the persons control may be a factor in why you are disappointed in those that do not make your world a better place..
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