Chancellor Merkel and Ministers prepare for "Open House" Weekend
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers are welcoming guests over the weekend to get a behind-the-scenes view of the German government. This is the German government’s 14th "Open House" weekend, Deputy Spokesman Georg Streiter said on Tuesday at the presentation of the event’s schedule.
Enlarge image Deputy spokesman Streiter presenting this year´s schedule (© picture-alliance/ dpa) The theme for this year’s event is demographics. Merkel is scheduled to be in the Chancellery building for around two hours on Sunday afternoon and is to give a tour of her office. And once again the Chancellery is considered the highlight of the day. “You can easily spend half the day there”, Streiter added. According to the Press Office, the Chancellery alone had more than 29,000 visitors in 2011, whereas the ministries and the Chancellery had a combined total of 160,000 visitors.
Enlarge image 2011 saw a total of 160,000 visitors at the annual "Open Day" weekend (© picture-alliance/ Sascha Radke) A formal state visit, complete with red carpet and musicians, is scheduled to unfold at the entrance to the Chancellery building. A standby helicopter is to be stationed in the garden outside the Chancellery, while a gallery of the chancellor’s visitors is also to be made available to visitors inside the spacious building, Streiter said. Four German ministers are also slated to be in attendance over the weekend, while the remaining ministers are leaving their deputies to meet with visitors. Federal Minister for Family Affairs Kristina Schröder is scheduled to show children her office on Saturday, while Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is to take part in a discussion entitled "United against right-wing extremism".
Enlarge image Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (© Thomas Koehler/ photothek.net) Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is taking part in a town hall-style discussion on Europe on Sunday. Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is scheduled to take part in several official meetings, including with the former biathlon athlete Magdalena Neuner as well as the rest of the skiing team. Minister Schäuble is not letting the ongoing European sovereign-debt crisis and the emergency situation in Greece fall by the wayside, however – both could be a topic in his discussion with Greek singer Nana Mouskouri.
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