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A year has not only gone by for me, but for Joachim Gauck, Germany's president who took office last March. Examining Gauck's progress so far, he seems to be using his limited power as president to its full advantage. In a recent speech Gauck discussed frankly his views on the eurozone debt crisis, globalization and its consequences, and the European identity. While acknowledging the issues and doubts brought on by the crisis, Gauck called for European unity and a 'renaissance of European values.' Gauck's past as a pastor has also instilled in him a respect for the people; he frequently interacts with them both in speeches and in other functions, inviting many citizens to events such as the reception in Bellevue Palace.
Gauck is savvy with the press, shying away from blanket statements on controversial issues, but nonetheless unafraid to demand better explanations or more work in a particular problem.
According to recent surveys, three out of four people are currently satisfied with Gauck's work, with only 10 percent being specifically critical of Germany's president. Gauck's efforts have been solid and consistent, a sturdy, if not entirely extraordinary, rock in Germany's government and policies.
- ▼ 2013 (22)