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Social Democrats to tap east German in scramble for cabinet balance

Europe
08.03.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - Germany‘s Social Democrats (SPD) have apparently tapped an eastern German mayor, Franziska Giffey, as they scramble to strike the right political balance with their cabinet picks.

Giffey‘s nomination as minister for family affairs is still unofficial, but, according to dpa‘s information, the politician looks set to be part of the ministerial line-up.

The centre-left SPD will reveal its nominations Friday morning for the six ministerial posts allocated to them in the rebooted "Grand Coalition" cabinet, shared with Angela Merkel‘s conservative bloc.

Born near the Polish border in the town of Frankfurt an der Oder, Giffey has been mayor of the capital‘s Neukoelln district just shy of three years.

Yet she has apparently impressed the party top brass, earning a name for herself by engaging in the everyday concerns of regular people.

The states that made up the former East Germany are a tough spot for the party. As such, a cabinet spot for an easterner was considered a crucial move.

Additionally, as the outlines of the new cabinet have become clearer, the lack of easterners in the leadership has enraged the region, forcing parties to seek out qualified personnel for that region, amid charges that the formerly communist east is being overwhelmed by the states of the former West Germany.

In September‘s elections, the party only scored 14.3 per cent in those states. The far-right, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) garnered 22.5 per cent.

 

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