German President sums up the results of his term
German President Joachim Gauck held a reception for accredited foreign journalists in Berlin, during which he summed up the results of his five years' term as leader of the country. During his speech, Gauck expressed both pride for all the success achieved by Germany in the economic and social sphere and a serious concern over the situation developing in the world.
"Germany is a stronghold of stability in Europe," Gauck said, particularly stressing impressive economic successes of Germany, an important foundation for the functioning of democracy. He noted that today's Germany, despite difficult history, managed to become an example for the countries of Asia and Latin America. According to him, German nation came a long way after the Second World War, moving away from nationalistic consciousness and developing a new ideology - the ideology of values of humanism and the rule of law. "It wasn't easy, since the first German democracy, the Weimar Republic, turned out to be an unsuccessful project, which left a negative impact on how Germans view democratic structure of the state," he recalled. However, modern generation of Germans doesn't believe in prejudices of the past, and today every German government will protect such values as freedom of speech and human rights, Joachim Gauck assured.
At the same time, he didn't hide his concern about the growth of right-wing populism's popularity in the world and in the European countries in particular. "Right-wing populists are questioning the entire democratic system," Gauck noted. In his speech, German President also touched upon the "problematic partner", Turkey, where journalist of German publication Die Welt, Deniz Yücel, was recently arrested. "Today Turkish Ambassador in Berlin was summoned to the German Foreign Ministry to give explanations in connection with the situation," he said. Despite unprecedentedly harsh criticism Turkish authorities received from German media in recent months, Joachim Gauck's remarks were extremely cautious. It should be noted that German government's position on Turkey is quite restrained despite the differences that exist between the two countries. As speaker of the German government Steffen Seibert noted, Turkey is an important partner of Germany, and Berlin is interested in its successful development. At the moment, Germany and Turkey are holding talks on the economic assistance to Turkish state in order to help it overcome the economic crisis. Berlin can't ignore Ankara's key role in stabilizing migration crisis that emerged after the war in Syria began.
After his speech ended, Joachim Gauck answered journalists's 'off-the-record' questions, speaking about the most urgent topics of German and European agenda. It should be noted that in March, former Foreign Minister, Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier will officialy become the President of Germany.