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'' Uncomfortable but loyal '': Does Schäuble remain Minister of Finance?

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 | World News

Who will be the next German finance minister? There is much to suggest that there will not be much change after the Bundestag elections on 24 September. The old could also be the new one – Wolfgang Schäuble.

He himself has already been pushed forward: such a job can only be done if one has fun, and this is still the case with him, the CDU politician says. The Staatsmännische version of Schäuble, as she chose in a newspaper interviews a few weeks ago, reads: "What I will do in the next legislature, I decide when I have been elected and if someone asks me."

Chancellor Angela Merkel should ask him. For the seems the not always convenient Schäuble however set – in any case sends out corresponding signals.

  If only the popularity values ​​go, the matter would be clear. Schäuble puts almost every other politician in the shade, from time to time even his boss. In the ARD-DeutschlandTrend of August 9, he was the top rider with 64 percent. In the ZDF political barometer, he was last in the second rank behind Merkel. But there are uncertainties that could put the soon-75-year-old into disarray. The most important are: the election result of the Union, the coalition parties with potential partners, and the question: Merkel will be able to recall her difficult-to-control cabinet ministry, who always says "I am uncomfortable but loyal".

"Leading figure for all finance ministers"
For the long-time CSU financial politician Hans Michelbach, this is not a question. "Wolfgang Schäuble is now the leading figure for all finance ministers in the world." Such a man would simply have to be made a finance minister again. Michelbach did not always agree with Schäuble, for example, in the policy of Greece.

 But what if Schäuble is not enforceable in the coalition partner? After some hesitation, Union politicians then drop a few names to candidates. As a specialist politician, Schäuble's state secretary, Jens Spahn, is quickly called. The minister himself calls Spahn "one of the great hopes for the future of the Union" – even if the one in Merkel's favor is not so high. Chances are, however, that some would have to look for a new job: a Thomas de Maiziere, who was no longer needed as Minister of the Interior, had already been a minister of finance, Chancellor Merkel, or Merkel's all-purpose weapon, Peter Altmaier.

The finance minister is always talking
But the fact that the new Finance Minister will come back from the Union is not settled. After all, the Social Democrats, if they are to become Union junior partners in the government despite all denial claims, will once again forgo the powerful Ministry of Finance, leaders in the party hardly believe. There are a lot of reasons to argue, to put up shrewd positions and then to give up the foreign office.

The most important thing is that the finance minister always talks about whether in Germany or Europe. It decisively determines whether, how strongly and in which direction money flows and can, like no other, influence other areas of policy: whether it is the EU refugee policy, or the shaping of Europe.

People with recognized financial competency
Access to the Schäuble succession, if the SPD back into a grand coalition, as the first SPD party team Martin Schulz. But in such a case, he would rather choose the faction presidency. Then Sigmar Gabriel would be the first contender. Also the name of faction boss Thomas Oppermann falls as an option. The SPD, together with Hamburg's mayor Olaf Scholz and Parteivize Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel from Hesse, has people with recognized financial competences. But they are more or less indispensable in their countries.

If the Free Democrats come with a good result from the elections, such as number three, and enter immediately into the government, they could ask themselves the question: financial department? The most likely to be in view should be Partyivize Wolfgang Kubicki, says it in parliament circles. In addition, the FDP has had a real "expert" with Volker Wissing, the long-standing chairman in the Finance Committee of the Bundestag and now minister in Rhineland-Palatinate. But that does not have to be an advantage.

"A minister does not have to be the greatest professional"
"A minister does not have to be the greatest specialist," Schäuble once described the requirements for a finance minister. If this is the case, the boss Cem Özdemir might be eligible for the rather unlikely event that the Greens would have to deal with this question.


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