Germany Bickers Over Obama Speech at Landmark

Dem wants backdrop of Brandenburg Gate
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2008 7:45 AM CDT
In this June 12, 1987 file photo U.S. President Reagan acknowledges the crowd after his speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, where he said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!'.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama will be in Berlin in 2 weeks, and his campaign wants to stage a major speech at the Brandenburg Gate, the most famous symbol of German reunification. Berlin's mayor is keen on the idea, reports Der Spiegel, saying yesterday that he'd love Obama to address the public there. But Angela Merkel's office is opposed to letting a candidate, not an elected president, speak at the site.

Although the final decision lies with Berlin's city council, the German chancellery is nonplussed at seeing one of the country's main symbols become a backdrop for a foreign election campaign rally. Obama's July 24 visit to Berlin is the highlight of a European tour that will also include stops in London and Paris.