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Germany not trying to dictate to Europe - president

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

BERLIN, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Germany's president reassured Europeans on Friday they had nothing to fear from Berlin's dominant role in the continent and said closer integration would lead to a more European Germany rather than a Europe forced into Germany's image.

In a keynote speech billed as setting out his vision for the continent, Joachim Gauck, a former Lutheran pastor and human rights activist from the former Communist East, urged people to look beyond the euro zone crisis and political upheavals and to view Europe as a union of shared values.

"It worries me when the role of Germany in Europe apparently causes scepticism and suspicion in some countries... I was shocked at how quickly perceptions could become warped, as if today's Germany stood in a long tradition of German power politics," Gauck said.

"But I assure all citizens in neighbouring countries, I see nobody among the German political class who wants to push a German diktat... From my own deep conviction I can say: more Europe does not mean in Germany a German Europe. Rather it means for us a European Germany."

The president in Germany wields little political power but has symbolic moral influence. (Reporting by Alexandra Hudson, editing by Gareth Jones)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130222/germany-not-trying-dictate-europe-president