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German Consul General to Speak at UVU Monday

8 January 2010 No Comment

January 8, 2010
For Immediate Release

For more information: Jeff Packer (801) 863-8626
University Marketing & Communications: Erin Spurgeon, (801) 863-6807
Written by: Alex Strickland (801) 863-6351

German Consul General in Los Angeles Wolfgang Drautz will visit Utah Valley University next week to give a presentation examining the relations between two of the world’s largest economies in the fact of changing leadership. Drautz will present “German-US Relations in their Different Aspects Under Two (Relatively) New Administrations on Both Sides of the Atlantic” from 3 to 4 p.m. in room 120 of the UVU Library on Monday, Jan. 11.

UVU German professor Jeff Packer stressed that even with the emerging power of the European Union, powerhouse nations such as Germany remain important strategic allies for the United States.

“Germany is the economic engine of the European Union,” he said. “Europe is still our most important partner politically and culturally.”

In fact, Germany trails only the US, Japan and China in measurements of Gross Domestic Product and leads other EU nations by significant amounts. In light of the current economic instability, the strength of those economies has been entrusted to two of the world’s most recognizable leaders, Barack Obama and Angela Merkel.

Drautz’ presentation will focus on the year-old Obama administration here and the coalition led by German Chancellor Merkel, who has been called the most powerful woman in the world and just last week graced the cover of Time Magazine’s European edition, which crowed that Merkel is “Frau Europa.” Merkel enjoys great popularity in her country, potentially due in part to her relatively light touch on policy.

Merkel presides over a nation that is not only an economic force, but also leads much of the world in the emerging field of so-called “green” technology, something that Packer suggests will be increasingly important to America in the coming years.

“The environmental relationships are very important because climate change is moving this country toward renewable resources and Germany is way ahead both politically and technologically” Packer said. “Students who want to have some way to relate with Germany are giving themselves an advantage.”

Drautz will be accompanied by Honorary Consul of Germany in Utah Charles Dahlquist of the Kirton & McConkie law firm in Salt Lake City. Dahlquist is also a member of the UVU’s National Presidential Advisory Board. Drautz’ presentation is free and open to the public.

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