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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:20 PM
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News from Germany on the eve of Obama's visit
Here are my very loose translations of articles from German newspapers about preparations and events preceding Obama's visit there. If you know German better than I, please correct my translations. I just think Americans would like to know what the German newspapers are talking about with regard to Obama's visit and speech in Berlin.

from the Berliner Zeitung

Donnerstagabend wird Barack Obama, US-Prsidentschaftskandidat der Demokraten, in Berlin eine ffentliche Rede halten. Nach langer Diskussion wird diese an der Siegessule und nicht wie ursprnglich geplant am Brandenburger Tor stattfinden. Obama wird in der einstndigen Grundsatzrede auf das transatlantischen Verhltnis eingehen.

Da dies die einzige ffentliche Open-Air-Rede von Obama in Europa sein wird, ist mit einem erheblichen Besucherandrang zu rechnen. Allein in Berlin leben rund 13.000 US-Amerikaner, doch werden auch aus den Nachbarlndern viele US-Amerikaner nach Berlin reisen, um den demokratischen Prsidentschaftskandidaten zu sehen.

. . .

Wann: Donnerstag, ca. 19 Uhr

Das Gelnde rund um die Siegessule wird erst ab 16 Uhr fr Besucher geffnet sein.

http://www.berlinonline.de/leben-und-leute/leute/obama_...

Thursday evening, Barack Obama, Democratic candidate for president of the U.S. will make a public speech in Berlin. After much discussion, it will take place not at the Brandenburg Gate as planned, but at the Victory Column. Obama will deliver a one-hour policy speech on transatlantic (U.S.-European) relationship.

Since this will be Obama's only talk in the open air in Europe, there will probably be a large number in attendance (visitors). 13,000 Americans from the U.S. live in Berlin alone, and many Americans will travel to Berlin from neighboring countries in order to see the Democratic candidate for president.

. . .

When: Thursday, around 7:00 p.m.

The area around the Victory Column will not be open for visitors until about 4:00 p.m.





- - -

Im Vorfeld der Visite war viel von Bildern die Rede gewesen und von Vorwahlkampf - vom deutschen Vorwahlkampf: Die SPD, so die gngige Lesart, werde den Besuch des Prsidentschaftskandidaten Barack Obama in Berlin nutzen, um Bilder zu produzieren, die fr den Bundestags-Wahlkampf 2009 ntzlich sein knnten. Und das sei auch der Grund, der Angela Merkel gegen einen Obama-Auftritt vor dem Brandenburger Tor opponieren lasse. Nur: Es gibt keine Bilder, oder jedenfalls: keine so richtig eindrucksvollen.

Berlins Regierender Brgermeister Klaus Wowereit (SPD) kann nmlich doch nicht, wie von vielen erwartet mit Obama durchs Brandenburger Tor spazieren. Er darf Obama nur zum Gesprch im Hotel Adlon treffen, unter Ausschlu der ffentlichkeit und medientechnisch nur begleitet von einem Kameramann. Der wird ausschlielich filmen, aber keinen Ton aufnehmen. Es gibt die obligatorischen Fototermine, einen mit Angela Merkel (CDU), einen mit Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD). Aber das werden wohl, wenn man sich an hnliche Veranstaltungen erinnert, die blichen Standbilder sein. Unwahrscheinlich, dass sich bei dieser Gelegenheit Bilder machen lassen, die mehr sagen als: Hier treffen sich zwei Politiker. Dazu fehlt die Kulisse.

Die Kanzlerin verteidigte erneut ihre ablehnende Haltung dazu, Obama am Brandenburger Tor sprechen zu lassen. Dies sei zwar fr einen Prsidenten ein guter Ort. Aber bestimmte Wahlkampfveranstaltungen mssten nicht berall in der Stadt stattfinden. Steinmeier kritisierte diese Debatte hingegen als kleinlich. Der Vizekanzler wies darauf hin, dass Obama die einzige ffentliche Rede seiner einwchigen Auslandsreise in Berlin halte. Und wir haben nichts Besseres zu tun, als eine Debatte darber loszutreten, ob er am Brandenburger Tor oder 150 Meter vom Tor entfernt reden darf.

http://www.morgenpost.de/berlin/article711263/Wowereit_...

In the foreground of the visit there was a lot of talk about pictures and the election -- the German election: The SPD (Democratic Socialist Paty) according to the prevailing belief was would use presidential candidate Barack Obama's visit to Berlin to get pictures that could be useful in the 2009 German parliamentary elections. And that was the reason that Angela Merkel opposed Obama's appearance at the Brandenburg Gate. But, there won't be any photos, or at least, no impressive photos. Berlin's mayer, Klaus Wowereit (SPD) won't be able, as many had expected, to walk beside Obama through the Brandenburg Gate. He will only be permitted to meet Obama at talks in the Hotel Adlon that will be closed to the public and the media accompanied by a cameraman. Videos will be made, but without a sound recording. An obligatory photo-shoot will take place with Angela Merkel (CDU Christian Democratic Union Party) as well as with Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD). But, they will be, if you recall similar events, the usual pictures of standing poses. It is unlikely that the photos will say more than: Two politicians met. There will be no theatre, (no show).

(Merkel) again defended her refusal to allow Obama to speak at the Brandenburg Gate: It would be a good place for a president, but certain campaign events should not take place just anywhere in the city. Steinmeier characterized (criticized) that (Merkel's) argument as "small." The vice chancellor added that Obama was holding the only public speech of his one week tour in Berlin saying "And we have better things to do that to argue about whether to allow him to speak at the Brandenburg Gate or 150 meters away from it." (1 meter very, very roughly equals a yard -- so 400-450 feet??? 1 yard equals 0.9144 meters)

- - -

Obama in Berlin
Autofahrer durchbricht Absperrung an Siegessule
Autofahrer strt Vorbereitungen fr Obama-Rede
Update Ein Mann hat mit seinem Auto den Sicherheitszaun um die Siegessule gerammt. Hier soll am Donnerstag Barack Obama auftreten. Der Tter wurde festgenommen - und dann gingen Bombenexperten ans Werk. mehr

Driver breaks through barrier at the Victory Column, thereby disturbing the preparations for Obama's speech.

Update: A man has rammed the security fence with his auto at the location where Barack Obama is supposed to appear. The perpetrator was arressted -- and then the bomb experts went to work.

http://www.morgenpost.de /

The Morgenpost further says that the person somehow spilled red paint near or at the site, but concludes that the incident did not appear to be motivated by politics.

---
The German pilots are on strike:

Die Piloten haben ihre Streikdrohung wahr gemacht: Die Lufthansa muss erneut Hunderte Flge streichen. Betroffen sind die Tochtergesellschaften CityLine und Eurowings und mehrere 10.000 Passagiere. Noch ist unklar, wie viel Geld die Piloten fordern sie hatten zuletzt 6,5 Prozent mehr Gehalt ausgeschlagen.
Mehr zum Thema
Morgenpost Online

. . . .

. . . Das entspricht rund einem Drittel des Europaverkehrs des Konzerns. Schon am Vortag waren 400 Flge ausgefallen. Das befrchtete Chaos an den Flughfen blieb allerdings aus.

http://www.morgenpost.de/wirtschaft/article711445/Chaos...

The pilots have carried out their threat to strike: Lufthansa will have to cancel hundreds of flights once again. The subsidiaries, CityLine and Eurowings -- and several tens of thousands of passengers. How much money the pilots are demanding is not yet clear -- they negotiated a raise of 6.5 percent the last time.

. . . .

. . . That corresponds to about a third of the European traffic of the company. On the previous day, 400 flights were canceled. The anticipated (feared)chaos at the airport did not occur.

---
The article also states that more strikes are expected. So, if you are planning to go to Berlin to see Obama, maybe you had better find some transportation that will not be affected by the strikes.

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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for that.
Interesting.
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Really looking forward to it. Will he wear lederhosen?
On him, it would look good.

Don't even think it, McCain. (He looked OK in lederhosen when he was younger, as the pic below shows, but he's older now.)

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