Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Mrs. Merkel and her cabinet

Now that the decision is made that Angela Merkel will be the next German Chancellor, speculations break loose who will become a member of the cabinet. Only a few things are clear. The SPD will receive 8 posts, the CDU/ CSU will head 6 departments plus the chancellorship. Edmund Stoiber from the CSU seems to become the new minister for economics and technology.

But who will become what? Today’s LVZ has a run up of possible candidates.
Foreign Ministry (SPD):
Gunther Verheugen (currently EU commissioner), Peter Struck (current defense minister) and Otto Schily (currently minister for interior affairs; both outsiders for the position). Wolfgang Thierse (current president of the Bundestag) is the true exotic name mentioned here.

Labor and Social affairs (SPD):
Franz Müntefering, Ulla Schmidt (current minister for Health), Sigmar Gabriel and Peer Steinbrück.

Interior affairs (CDU/CSU):
Wolfgang Schäuble, Günther Beckstein (CSU), Peter Müller (Prime Minister from the Saar) and Wolfgang Bosbach.

Finance (SPD):
Peer Steinbrück, Frank Walter Steinmeier, Jochen Dieckmann and as an outsider Hans Eichel.

Defense (CDU):
Jörg Schönbohm (Minister for interior affairs Brandenburg), Michael Glos (CSU), Peter Müller and Friedbert Pflüger.

Justice (SPD):
Almost certain: current justice minister Brigitte Zypries.

Family, Women, Youth and Elderly (CDU):
Also almost certain: Ursula von der Leyen (Minister for social affairs Lower-Saxony)

Education (CDU):
Anette Schavan (ex-education minister in Stuttgart).

Health (SPD):
Ulla Schmidt (currently heading this ministry) or Andrea Nahles, who comes from the left wing of the SPD.

Consumer Protection, Food and Agrarian Affairs (CDU/ CSU)
Horst Seehofer (CSU)

Traffic and Construction (SPD):
Peer Steinbrück, Kurt Bodewig or Christoph Matschie (SPD-leader in Thuringia and former state secretary of this ministry).

Environment and nuclear safety (SPD):
Sigmar Gabriel, Heiko Maas, Ulrich Kelber

State Secretary in the Chancelor’s office (CDU):
Norbert Röttgen, Thomas de Maiziere (minister of interior affairs in Saxony), Volker Kauder.

Of course, these names are for the most part just speculation and may have changed already by tomorrow.
But where are the East German names in this list of names. The obvious ones are Merkel herself, who is not only the youngest and first female chancellor in Germany, but also the first East German. The other obvious one is Wolfgang Thierse. The other East German on this list is Christoph Matschie from the SPD. The Saxon CDU also tried to put Arnold Vaatz on the list for a cabinet spot. Even though Schönbohm is Minister for interior affairs in Brandenburg he is not an East German, he is a West German who is working in East Germany. Ironically he caused quite some uproar among East Germans with some degrading comments earlier this summer. After this incident it was said that he just destroyed his chances for a cabinet post. So to find his name on the list is maybe a surprise. Or maybe not. After all Edmund Stoiber is a pretty sure candidate for his ministry position. Regardless of the insulting comments he made toward East Germans this past summer.

We will know probably by mid-November who was selected and who wasn’t. Then we will also know how many East Germans will be part of the cabinet. Kurt Beck, prime minister from the SPD in Rhineland-Palatinate, said it should be the goal that at least one East German receives a ministry post in the new cabinet. We will see.

1 comment:

Kuch said...

Aufbau Ost
With the election results finally "decided," do you hold out much hope for substantial improvements to the German economy? It seems like (no matter what ones politics) the result is quite dissapointing and... well... unresolved. Is there any chance that this coalition can make large gestures for the people of Germany? Even though it seems like the people don't seem ready for this? I truly hope for a bright future for all of Germany, and I wish the electorate would have been more bold!