German President Joachim Gauck backs new security proposals | News | DW | 14.08.2016
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German President Joachim Gauck backs new security proposals

German President Joachim Gauck has said he supports a raft of new security measures proposed earlier this week. Speaking in a TV interview, he also backed the refugee policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

German President Joachim Gauck has thrown his support behind a security package put forward by Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere earlier this week

In an interview with broadcaster ZDF that airs on Sunday, Gauck said that, like de Maiziere, he was against debating laws prohibiting Muslim women from covering their faces, a burqa ban and rescinding citizenship of some dual nationals for a broad array of terror crimes.

Germany must evaluate various security threats and determine whether they justify curbing the freedoms of citizens, Gauck said.

De Maiziere put forward a new security package on Thursday in response to a recent series of violent incidents and potential security threats from migrants.

An axe attack on a train near the Bavarian town of Würzburg on July 18, claimed by the self-declared "Islamic State," injured several travelers. Less than a week later, in a separate attack, a man set off an explosive device near an open-air music festival in the Bavarian town of Ansbach, killing himself and wounding a dozen others. At the time, authorities said an Islamist motive was "likely."

Germany no 'sinking ship'

Despite any number of problems in Germany, Gauck said the country was still strong.

"The country is not like a sinking ship in the middle of a powerful hurricane," Gauck said. "Rather, there are just gusts of wind rocking the boat."

These gusts of wind confuse society and make some people feel insecure, he added.

Still, the president said he backed Chancellor Angela Merkel's oft-repeated phrase, "We can do it," to described the country's ability to handle the refugee crisis.

"The chancellor and I follow the same line, we only use different language," he said.

cw/cmk (dpa, KNA, AFP)