Current Event 3/24/12
Gauck is the first East German president of the country, signifying unity and progression of the nation. Like Chancellor Angela Merkel, he is an East German Protestant. Although famous for speaking his mind, the president has no official party affiliation. Concerned with democracy and civil rights, the president is also concerned with Germany's relationship with Poland, and will pay Warsaw a visit soon. The president, at age 72, is the oldest president Germany has had. He and his partner, the journalist Daniela Schadt, are installed at the presidential residence of Bellevue Palace. Although the president is technically head of the state, the post has mainly ceremonial duties.
The election of an activist from East Germany shows progressiveness and openness that is encouraging in the field of German politics. Describing himself as a "conservative from the liberal left," Gauck bridges the gap between liberal and conservative and will hopefully be able to moderate disagreements between the two factions. As a strong advocate of democracy, Gauck will be a stabilizing force in the German parliament, and hopefully throughout the nation as well. His election is promising for Germany's continuing stability, democracy, and progressiveness.