German magazine bags Obama 'confession' at G-20

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Berlin, Apr.11 (ANI): Germany's Der Speiegel magazine has claimed in one of its reports that US President Barack Obama uttered three words that amount to a US confession for causing the financial crisis and "may go down in world history as one of the greatest statements ever made."

What, pray tell, did the president say?

"I take responsibility."

Spiegel, which is Germany's 800-pound gorilla of serious political journalism, used the statement as the lead of its triple-bylined account of the G-20 summit, which is printed under the headline: "Obama's G-20 Confession."

Much like the rising debate surrounding the president's alleged bow, the tale of the so-called confession is ripe for a bit of interpretation, which might help explain why the statement didn't lead the news in the US - rating only a mere mention deep in the bowels of the website Politico.

Obama made the remark after he had been introduced by Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. This is what the president said, according to Der Spiegel:

"It is important that we do not sell short the results of this summit. The press would like us to have conflicts. Instead we have attained great achievements. And it is important that we exude confidence."[Obama] then lowered his voice: "It is true, as my Italian friend has said, that the crisis began in the US. I take responsibility, even if I wasn't even president at the time."

The others couldn't believe their ears. Was that really a confession of guilt from the US? Was it a translation error, or at least an inaccuracy? Afterwards, this sentence fueled long discussions among the members of the German delegation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was so impressed by Obama's statement that she rushed to tell her finance minister, Peer Steinbr|ck. Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso reacted immediately: he proposal to hold the next summit not in Japan, but rather in the US, is something that he no longer rejects, he says, "now that the US has shouldered responsibility."

Germany, it should be noted, has a certain fixation with the idea of blame and responsibility. The statement from Obama might also be helping the Germans make sense of the financial crisis. And, as cliches remind us, Germans crave ordnung (order). (ANI)

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