News from Berlin
Ambassadors Invited to German Foreign Ministry for World Cup
June 16th, 2014
News from Berlin - Thirty two hours before the start of the World Cup, the ambassadors of the thirty two participating nations have been invited to Germany’s Foreign Ministry for a reception. The ambassadors had the occasion to take a break from normal working life by talking about football and receiving chocolate footballs, made in Cologne’s Chocolate Museum. Foreign Minister Steinmeier jokingly said that at first sight it is not comprehensible why one would give chocolate when we are experiencing tropical temperatures in Berlin, but that deep down chocolate is the best World Cup symbol there is. Chocolate is made out of sugar, cocoa and cocoa butter; three ingredients which can all be found in Brazil.
The Brazilian ambassador Maria Viotti emphasised that World Cups are a unique opportunity to present a good image of the host country and to promote intercultural exchange. She said she was sure the World Cup in Brazil would be one great celebration of different cultures around the sport that Brazilians love more than anything, with many likening football to a religion. Viotti also highlighted that since the last time Brazil hosted the World Cup in 1950, many things have changed in her country. The population of Brazil has been multiplied by four, the country experienced industrialisation and democratisation at a fast pace, but the only thing that has not changed is the love for football.
When asked about the current anti-World Cup protests in Brazil, she said that in Brazil everyone is allowed to express their opinion and protest. However, from a neutral standpoint she said, one has to acknowledge that even if a lot of money had to be spent on the World Cup, Brazil made an effort to increase the budget for Health and Education 200 fold in the same time period. The World Cup will bring jobs and tourists and will promote Brazilian culture. At the end of her speech, she thanked the German Foreign Ministry for the reception and wished every participant good luck.
News from Berlin - Berlin Glo