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‘Fascination with authoritarianism’ worries German president

BERLIN (AP) — German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has warned of a “worldwide fascination with authoritarianism” that Germany isn’t immune to despite the economic wellbeing of most citizens.

Steinmeier told foreign reporters in Berlin on Monday that after more than 70 years of post-war stability in Germany and most parts of Europe, many people take democracy for granted and don’t see the need to fight for it.

He also said he thinks rapid change in people’s lives from technology is unsettling and makes them susceptible to authoritarian figures promising to have all the answers.

Steinmeier called on mainstream politicians and parties to do a better job explaining the value of democracy.

As president, Steinmeier doesn’t hold Germany’s most powerful government office, but his words still carry strong moral weight in the country.

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