Obama in Berlin, lunch with Scholz and speech in the 17,000-seat arena

Ends the European tour that began in Barcelona, ​​tickets sold between 61 and 550 euros

Barack Obama ends his European tour in Berlin, which began last week in Barcelona where, with his wife Michelle and the Spielbergs, he accompanied Bruce Springsteen for his concert and then continued to Zurich and Amsterdam. The former American president will meet the Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz for lunch today, according to sources from the Dpa.

But the highlight of Obama’s visit to the German capital will be the speech he will deliver this evening at the Mercedes Benz Arena, a 17,000-seat arena that has been sold for between 61 and 550 euros. In the speech, which follows the one delivered last week in Zurich in front of 10,000 paying guests, according to the organizers, Obama will convey “a message of positive and sustainable change” focused on the themes of “leadership and how to face the future”.

In Berlin Obama made other important speeches, the first when he had not yet been elected president, during his electoral campaign in July 2008. More than 200,000 people attended their speech that the young Democratic candidate, who was enthralling and enthusing Europeans after the years of protest against George Bush, pronounced in front of the Victory Column.

“We must tear down all the walls that still divide peoples and races: those between old allies who cross the Atlantic, between rich and poor countries,” said the future first African-American president in the speech that his electoral strategists wanted to be delivered in front of at the Brandenburg Gate. A highly symbolic location that the then chancellor Angela Merkel, pressed even by her most conservative allies, did not feel like granting to anyone who was still only a candidate for the White House.

Merkel, who later became an iron ally of Obama in Europe, remedied the ‘snub’ in 2013 when Obama returned to Berlin as president and spoke in front of the Brandenburg Gate, as did John Kennedy in the 1960s and Ronald Reagan in the past the eighties.

Obama has a special relationship with Germany, which he has visited six times as president, more than any of his predecessors. And once he left the White House he returned in 2017 and 2019 when, during a speech in Cologne, he praised “my friend Angela Merkel” calling her “worthy of applause” for her leadership both firm and compassionate . Words that were then read as a direct attack on his successor Donald Trump who had a bad relationship with the German chancellor.