The people of Germany are starting the week with a new president. Joachim Gauck is a former human rights activist from communist East Germany and won the largely ceremonial office with a landslide victory.
His main rival, the veteran anti-Nazi campaigner, Beate Klarsfeld made few inroads on Gauck’s support.
Berliners appeared to welcome the result:
“What we are waiting for from the new federal president,” said one man, “is that he remains in power longer than the former one, that is why I wish him luck, and I hope the press won’t “break” him like they did with the one before.”
Another Berlin resident said: “I think he is the best choice. Since the beginning I have been supporting him and now I am hoping there won’t be any more scandals.”
Many Germans are looking for Gauck to restore some dignity to the presidency, a post tarnished by financial scandals that toppled his predecessor Christian Wulff.