http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/merkel-allies-pressure-finance-chief-schaeuble-to-quit/article/503473

Merkel allies pressure finance chief Schaeuble to quit

Posted Sep 26, 2017 by AFP
High-ranking members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's German conservatives gently but firmly pressed Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to move on Tuesday, as they rejig the ranks after a disappointing election weekend.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is hated among left-wingers in some eurozone countries as...
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is hated among left-wingers in some eurozone countries as the preacher of an unbending German austerity gospel and an advocate of pushing Greece out of the euro in 2015
RAIGO PAJULA, AFP/File

High-ranking members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's German conservatives gently but firmly pressed Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to move on Tuesday, as they rejig the ranks after a disappointing election weekend.

Alexander Dobrindt, head of Merkel's Bavarian CSU allies in the Bundestag, argued that he should quit his ministry to become president of the Bundestag (lower house of parliament).

"Bundestag presidents are always exceptional personalities and parliamentarians, and Wolfgang Schaeuble is one of those," Dobrindt said.

"This will be a different parliament than those we've seen in the past," he added, requiring "an enormous amount of experience" -- a quality the 75-year-old Schaeuble, in parliament since 1972, offers in spades.

Germany's European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger echoed Dobrindt's call in an interview Tuesday with regional newspaper Stuttgarter Nachrichten, calling Schaeuble an "ideal candidate".

And news agency DPA reported Merkel would try personally to persuade Schaeuble to move, citing "several" anonymous conservative MPs.

Many conservatives are eager for a realignment to shore up their right flank, after anti-immigrant, anti-EU party Alternative for Germany rode into parliament Sunday on a wave of popular anger over more than one million migrants and refugees who have arrived since 2015.

Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), their Bavarian CSU allies and previous coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD) all suffered heavy losses compared with 2013's result.

And Schaeuble -- hated among left-wingers in some eurozone countries as the preacher of an unbending German austerity gospel and an advocate of pushing Greece out of the euro in 2015 -- could be forced out in any case as part of coalition talks.

The vote outcome means the most likely constellation in Berlin would bring together Merkel's conservatives, the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) in an untested three-way alliance.

The FDP has named the powerful finance ministry as its price for supporting the chancellor into her fourth term, looking for a secure foothold to push through hoped-for tax cuts.

And the prestigious post of Bundestag president has become vacant, after previous office holder Norbert Lammert did not run for reelection.