a bbc reporter tried to ask guido westerwelle, head of germany’s pro-business FDP party and the man poised to become the first gay vice chancellor and foreign minster of germany, if he could ask him a question in english. westerwelle replied, ‘if you would be so kind, because this is a press conference in germany…. (bbc reporter speaks). please understand when we are in the uk, it is customary there that you, naturally, speak english, when we are in germany, here it is customary that we speak german.’ westerwelle does speak some english. aside from germany’s ex-foreign minister joschka fischer, who famously gave his anti-iraq speech at the UN in near flawless english, most german politicans shy away from speaking english on camera.
Archive for the ‘guido westewelle’ Category
should this be a headline? nobody else seems to be writing it. guido westerwelle, PhD, the head of the FDP party in germany will form a government with angela merkel’s CDU (which always partners with its sister party the bavaria based CSU party). the government will be a majority minority government, with the parties having won only 48% of the vote.
the FDP is essentially a pro-business, center-right, non-ideological party. which might be why many gay publications or the mainstream international media have not taken notice of him. he’s a pretty low-key guy whose primary focus is cutting taxes and bureaucracy and through that. making germany more business friendly. if all goes as usual, westerwelle will be vice chancellor and possibly also foreign minister of germany.
but what does this election mean? the center-right will form a government, the center-left party, the SPD is out and the election also saw the left party (die linke) led by gregor gysi and oskar lafontaine (aka, red oskar) put in their best showing since their formation in 2005, by soring past the 10% mark. the SPD had its worst showing since world war 2, having lost 11% of their voters since the 2005 election.
edit: we have found one paper, the financial times, which provides more detailed information (in english) about westerwelle.