Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
At any one of the dozen high-powered Berlin summer parties thrown by major media outlets and the political parties in Germany each year you can count on finding a reasonable cross-section of government and industry movers and shakers to rub elbows with. But nowhere in Germany can you find as rich an assortment of A-list government, business, media and entertainment industry types as at the “Sommerfest” held by Bild newspaper.
From Chancellor Angela Merkel and Deutsche Bank chairman Josef Ackermann to heavyweight boxers, assorted actors and actresses, and people famous for just being famous, there is no more eclectic gathering of 750 people who see themselves as Germany’s best and brightest — all on fine form ahead of Germany’s cherished two-month long summer holiday season.
Many countries have their own special events — awards ceremonies, banquets or parties — that can sometimes be used to gauge the national mood. In Germany it’s the Bild fest.
“We like to party in Berlin and the Bild people know how to organise a great bash,” said Cherno Jobatey, a well-known television host for public broadcaster ZDF who said he had been to 10 such events in the last 14 days (“my fridge was always empty and the food is usually pretty good”). “But seriously, you can run into all the people you wanted to run into here. You can talk to people you’ve always wanted to talk to in a way you wouldn’t normally be able to.”
It hasn’t garnered as much attention or generated quite the same excitement as the nomination battle between U.S. Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did, but Germany’s Social Democrats are tying themselves in equally torturous knots over who will lead their party into the next election.
Like their U.S. counterparts, the centre-left SPD has two main candidates vying for the right to challenge for the country’s top job. But the similarities between the American and German contests end there.