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Germany

Berlin On the Itinerary for Bush, Possibly for Obama

In June, George W. Bush plans to make what's likely to be his last visit to Berlin as US President. But people in the German capital are more enthusiastic about seeing another prominent US politician.

Montage: Bush and Obama

Berlin could be busy entertaining this summer

Bush is scheduled to spend June 10 and 11 in Germany as part of a week-long trip to Europe.

Bush's Berlin visit will coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of the Marshall Plan, the American credit and assistance program that helped Europe -- including Germany -- rebuild after World War II.

Bush's presence is likely to elicit public protests, as has been the case on all of the President's precious visits to Germany.

Hundreds of thousands of Germans demonstrated against Bush in 2002 in the run-up to the Iraq War -- although the numbers of protestors have declined on subsequent visits.

Anti-Bush protestors

Bush is not very popular in Germany

The German government has not released a precise itinerary for Bush's trip, but it said it would announce specifics at a later date.

Obamania

Audience cheering as they await the arrival of the wife of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama

Like many Americans, large numbers of Germans have fallen for Obama

And Bush isn't the only top American politician to whom Berliners may be treated this summer.

On Tuesday May 27, Karsten Voigt -- the government envoy for German-American relations -- said that likely Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was also considering coming to the German capital.

"If a US Presidential hopeful visits Berlin, holding a speech at the Brandenburg Gate and going afterward to the Kennedy Museum, it provides powerful images for the American electorate," Voigt told the daily Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Spiegel magazine also reported that Obama had told German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier that he would like to visit Germany as soon as possible.

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama

Obama may soon be smiling at the Brandenburg Gate

At this point, such considerations remain quite vague, but the mere prospect of the charismatic Illinois Senator in the German capital had politicians and reporters swooning.

The federal government, Voigt said, would eagerly welcome Obama.

"That's true of all the presidential candidates, but for him especially," Voigt told the Tagesspiegel.

Meanwhile, the weekly news magazine Stern gushed: "The 'new Kennedy' wants to visit Berlin."

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