Schwarzenegger opens technology fair in Germany

The Associated Press

HANNOVER, Germany ” California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opened a major technology fair in Germany Monday along with Chancellor Angela Merkel, and recalled his time in the country as a young man.

“We are gathering in challenging times,” Schwarzenegger acknowledged at the CeBIT fair, where California is the partner state this year.

However, he added that it is time “to stand up and refuse to fail.” The fair is “all about pumping up your business,” he said.

“Technology is our greatest asset,” Schwarzenegger said. “Technology is also helping us to develop cleaner cars … and to fight against climate change.”

During his visit to Hannover, Schwarzenegger is to pick up an award from the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany for his “extraordinary commitment to environment and energy.”

Despite California’s severe budget crisis, the Republican governor is well known for his crusades against global climate change and his advocacy of alternative energy.

Schwarzenegger, a native of neighboring Austria and a former champion bodybuilder, said of Germany that “this country holds a special place in my heart.”

“I spent two years in Munich, and those were the crucial years of my life,” he said, having moved there at the age of 19. “It was the springboard for my bodybuilding career.”

“I’ve always cherished the time spent here,” he said, adding that he “never imagined that I would come back to Germany as the governor of California.”

Schwarzenegger added in German that he is “looking forward to German beer and German food.”

He ended his remarks with a catch phrase from his acting days: “Hasta la vista, baby.”

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