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Christmas message 2018

Christmas message 2018 by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on 25 December: "Our democracy is always just as strong as we make it. Its founding principle is that we voice our opinions, and that we are willing to argue for what we believe in. It also means that we are constantly vulnerable – because someone else may sometimes be right. Reaching compromise does not signal weakness, but rather is a sign of strength. The ability to compromise is the backbone of democracy."

Full speech: Christmas message 2018 …

Sichuan University in China

The Federal President held a speech at Sichuan University in Chengdu on the occasion of the state visit to China on 7 December: "Germany’s history was marked for many years by dictatorship and repression. Perhaps this makes us particularly sensitive to and aware of what happens to those who do not share the prevailing opinion, belong to a minority, want to practise their religion or campaign non-violently and peacefully for their ideas and beliefs. That is why we are worried and alarmed whenever personal freedoms are curtailed."

Full speech: Sichuan University in China …

State banquet in Botswana

The Federal President held a speech at the state banquet in Gaborone on the occasion of the state visit to Botswana on 21 November: "In the 52 years since attaining its independence, Botswana has succeeded in overcoming grinding poverty and setting up a stable parliamentary democracy. The country’s political leaders have played a key role here, as have, above all, the people in Botswana, who never tired of advocating peaceful co-existence with their neighbours."

Full speech: State banquet in Botswana …

Visit to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier held a speech in the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg on the occasion of the state visit to the Republic of South Africa on 19 October: "Let us, South Africans and Germans, show that the world does not become more peaceful with 'everyone against everyone else', but only through increased cooperation".

Full speech: Visit to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg …