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German Press Review: "This revolution is not over, it has just begun."

Following Hosni Mubarak's resignation, German editorial writers wonder whether the Egyptian military government will really relinquish its power. The country's future, they say, is wide open.

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Egypt's main problem, according to the business daily Handelsblatt, is that the democracy movement on Tahrir Square doesn't have any outstanding political leaders. "For 18 days, that was its strength," the paper wrote. "During the uprising, no one was able to use the movement for his own political goals. But for a civilized transition, Egypt's democracy movement will have to come up with true leaders."

Die Welt commented that people who are able, in just 18 days, to bring down a leader considered to be firmly in power, have every reason to believe that much more is possible. "The future is wide open, waiting to be shaped." A feeling of empowerment makes the moment so emotionally intense, the paper said, adding that this is "the revolution's strength and its weakness." With no one at the helm, die Welt concluded, people were bound to take action where they believe they can make a difference.

Egyptians no longer want to see people in uniform head their country, Munich's Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote. They still trusted the rebels at this point, the paper said, but warned that should this trust be betrayed, the country's citizens would take to the streets again: "This revolution is not over, it has just begun."

The Mittelbayerische Zeitung was sceptical to what extent the military is willing to pave the way to democracy rather than entrenching the status quo, since a rapid transition to democracy would endanger its own priviliges. "At the moment, the opposition has won nothing more than hope for better times," the paper wrote and added that Egyptians must not only watch the military leaders' every step, they must demand a significant role in shaping the transition process.

The Rheinische Post shared that wariness, pointing out that after all, the new playmakers are nothing but turncoats who not too long ago pledged eternal loyalty to their president. "It wouldn't be the first time that such troops suddenly discovered the pleasures of ruling with military communiqués and dictatorial decrees."

Egypt has experienced itself in a totally different light during the 18-day-long popular uprising, commented the Stuttgarter Zeitung. Suddenly, the paper wrote, people who normally can't form orderly lines to board a tram stood patiently in line at the check points at Tahrir square. "For the first time, Egyptians regard themselves as active citizens of their own country rather than a mass of subjects."

Compiled by Dagmar Breitenbach
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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