Sunday, 12 February 2017


A special convention of 1 260 electors—majority of whom are politicians but also some important members of the community from different constituencies and éminence grises—designated Frank-Walter Steinmeyer, off-and-on Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2005 and member of the right-leaning (relatively) Social Democratic Party (SPD) will convene to select a replacement for Germany’s ceremonial president (DE/EN) Joachim Gauck, who will retire in March.
Previously, I’ve advocated that the titular head of state could be handed over to one of the dethroned dynastic royal families, not necessarily be recreated Germany as constitutional monarchy, but such pedigreed individuals could probably discharge those duties just as well, and would be willing to do it for the honour of servicing and would at least partially satisfy the Germans fascination with monarchy that’s now fully directed at the Battenbergs. At this juncture, however, I think it’s important and more than a little impressive that the government was able to cross party lines and elevate one whose opposed—but possibly more compliments the Chancellor, deputised as leader of the free world.