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Anticipation, Griping Increases Before Obama Speech in Berlin

Deutsche Welle [1]
Thursday, July 24, 2008

The “Obama show,” as one newspaper calls it, is set to take Berlin by storm on Thursday, July 24. But a small minority is questioning whether the Democratic candidate can live up to the hype — or justify the costs.

In the build-up to what is probably the most anticipated American campaign speech ever held on foreign soil, one of Berlin’s main city magazines offered its readership cut-out American flags to wave at Barack Obama’s planned address.

The presumed Democratic nominee plans to arrive in the German capital on Thursday morning. Not much of his agenda for the day has been made public, but he is set to speak at Berlin’s Victory Column — formally the main site of the Love Parade — at 7PM local time.

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Those who want to hear Obama live have been told to start arriving three hours earlier. Berlin authorities say that as many as a million people could attend. Four TV stations are broadcasting the entire speech, and the rest are scrambling to secure prime locations at the site.

Only around 13,000 Americans live in Berlin. So what is motivating Berliners and Germans in general to treat a Democratic presidential hopeful to such a royal welcome?

Full article here [1]