Waigel calls for cabinet clear-out
Tuesday 12 August 1997
In a series of newspaper interviews over the weekend, Theo Waigel, the Finance Minister, had urged his boss to clear the dead wood out of his cabinet before embarking on next year's general election campaign. Mr Waigel, leader of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, also made a bid for one of the cabinet seats currently controlled by the Free Democrats, the smallest of the three parties which make up Mr Kohl's government.
Through his spokesman in Bonn, the Chancellor let it be known that such discussions about a reshuffle were "superfluous".
But that put-down may not be enough to thwart another round of bickering among the coalition partners.
In a startlingly frank interview with the magazine Der Spiegel, Mr Waigel suggested that some of his cabinet colleagues were merely serving time. These, he advised, should be booted out. "If there is a minister or two wanting to quit but would still like to hang on for another year until the elections," Mr Waigel said, "then one should tell him: `Comrade, it would have been nice, but we must build our new team now'."
Though the Finance Minister refused to name any of the tired faces he had in mind, there is little doubt that Gunter Rexrodt, the Economy Minister, would be on top of such list. Mr Rexrodt does not even enjoy the confidence of his own party, the Free Democrats, and is believed to have flirted in the past with the idea of leaving the government.
The Economy Minister's departure would seem to fit in well with Mr Waigel's game plan, namely to swap portfolios with the FDP. Klaus Kinkel, the Free Democrat Foreign Minister, would thus take over the hot potato of Finance, allowing Mr Waigel to fulfil his cherished ambition of straddling the world stage.
This could only happen, however, if the FDP were eased out of the Economics Ministry. Mr Waigel also noted that one minister from his party, Wolfgang Botsch, will drop out of the government when his fiefdom, the post office, is privatised later this year.
The CSU, he said, will have to be given something else, otherwise it will only have the same number of government seats - three - as the Free Democrat minnows.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 3 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...
£25000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...