JOHANNES RAU does personally deserve this office, but politically the wrong signal is being sent out by his election. Rau embodies in every respect the old Federal Republic and the romantic, structurally conservative side of social democracy. Rau does not stand for the future and a departure, but for the status quo.
His first appearance exuded sentimentality as he said: "I am a good uncle and want to be loved by all."
Is this really the job of the Federal President? It could be that Johannes Rau will go down in history not as the first President of the Berlin republic, but as the last of the Bonn republic.
IT STILL remains to be seen whether the election of Johannes Rau as President of Germany will boost the Red-Green coalition or not. The government's most immediate feeling is that of relief that the alliance really did hold during the election. The Free Democrats seized the opportunity to present themselves as king-makers. The election of Rau is a further step in preparing the Free Democrat Party's own supporters and the public for a possible coalition with the Social Democrats.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
THE FACT that the newly elected German president Johannes Rau spoke not just of the dignity of the Germans, but also of human dignity - even including foreigners in his round-up - annoyed the Christian Democrats. But the Basic Law does indeed speak of human dignity and we now have almost 10 million foreigners living here in Germany. This is a fact that the new President cannot afford to ignore.
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