Germany’s President Joachim Gauck is insisting that the rest of the European Union has nothing to fear from Berlin’s economic dominance. Gauck says the goal is a more “European Germany” and certainly not a more “German Europe”.
Gauck said: “I would like to assure all citizens in neighbouring countries that I see nobody within the German political class who wants to push a German diktat.”
The German head of state, a former Lutheran pastor and human rights activist, appealed to the United Kingdom in particular to stick with Europe.
Gauck addressed British citizens directly, saying: “Dear English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and new British citizens, we want to keep you with us. We need your experience as the oldest parliamentary democracy, we need your traditions, your sobriety and your courage!”
Germany’s leading role in setting conditions for EU bailouts has sparked anti-German sentiment in Southern Europe.
The President has little political power, but is an influential figure in German society.