• Germany edition
 
Steinbrück: We want to remove this government
Photo: DPA

Steinbrück: We want to remove this government

Published: 28 Sep 2012 09:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Sep 2012 17:12 GMT+02:00

Steinbrück, 65, was one of three potential leaders considered by the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), which had been expected to reach a decision by the end of the year. He served as finance minister under Merkel in the “grand coalition” between the SPD and her Christian Democratic Union.

"I accept this challenge in order to win the next federal elections, with and for the SPD," Steinbrück told a news conference.

"That is the demand, that is the ambition. We want to remove this government. It's obvious that this government will not be returned in a year.

"But we don't just want it to be partly replaced, we want it to be replace by a red-green government," he said, referring to a coalition between his SPD and the Green party.

The SPD leadership troika of Steinbrück, party leader Sigmar Gabriel and parliamentary party leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who failed to oust Merkel last time around, has become increasingly uneasy with each other, increasing calls for a clear decision.

On Friday Gabriel publicly nominated Steinbrück as chancellor candidate, while Steinmeier promised to fight for him “as if it were my own fight.”

The straight-talking style of the trained economist has ruffled feathers in the past, notably when he described the Swiss as "Indians" during a bitter tax row between the two neighbours.

He also sparked outrage in Britain when he dismissed London's economic policy as "crass" and "breathtaking."

Opinion polls show that he is considered the third-most significant politician in the country behind Merkel and current Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble but he has a lot of ground to make up if he is to become chancellor.

A poll conducted by public broadcaster ZDF – before the news broke of his candidacy – found the Social Democrat favoured by 36 percent of those surveyed, opposed to Merkel’s 53 percent.

The focus of Germany’s political pundits and media on the ascension of Steinbrück was good news for Kurt Beck, state premier of Rhineland Palatinate, who announced his resignation on Friday after 18 years in the job - following harsh criticism of his handling of the Nürburgring development.

The 63-year-old was expected to make a formal announcement on Friday evening after meeting with his state party leadership. He is expected to be replaced as state premier by Malu Dreyer – who would become the first woman to hold that post. She suffers from multiple sclerosis but has never made a secret of her desire to take on the state’s top job.

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:40 September 28, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Isn't it wonderful? It used to be that you could create, mostly, your own debt. And if you didn't pay it back, eventually you would end up in the poor house. Now you don't even have to do that, the Government can do it you. 1 stop shopping. And the obvious solution, as any of the most highly intelligent Euros will tell you, is a bigger Government.
16:49 September 28, 2012 by Zubair Khan
With her passion, moderate thinking and remaining cool in all circumstances and having visionary approach it seems difficult she will be defeated.
17:42 September 28, 2012 by hanskarl
Of course they do. They want to follow in the footsteps of their empirical neighbor to the west, France. Great Britain and other countries look forward to the SPD's resurrection to power with open arms!!
17:52 September 28, 2012 by Beachrider
I don't think that politicians should EVER get pictures taken like this...
18:00 September 28, 2012 by sonriete
One would hope he would want to replace the government, why else would he run???

I hope when he runs he finds a more imaginative speech writer !
18:46 September 28, 2012 by ngwanem
I don't like the CDU but with Steinbrück in place, I will prefer Merkel 100 times over
19:52 September 28, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Well, maybe he can, if he makes some deals with the unions...

http://youtu.be/G5DTqvX74O4
09:02 September 29, 2012 by Englishted
He worked with the C.D.U. therefore he has corruptible politics ,until the S.D.P. conducts a purge to remove all members who worked in the " Groß coalition¦quot;

the will not achieve power ,already there is talk or red /green coalition ,German politics is so wishy washy you can't ever read the parties manifestos and not expect at least some policies watered down by the partners in government .

Proportional representation simply leads to coalitions and no real leadership.
Today's headlines
The Local List
Which high school cliche is your city?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock

Which high school cliche is your city?

This week's Local List takes a leap of imagination and finds German cities fit perfectly into high school cliche categories. Who's the class clown? Who's the nerd? READ  

'German' hand grenades paraded by Isis in Syria
A screen grab from a jihadist video showing the grenades. Photo: DPA

'German' hand grenades paraded by Isis in Syria

The German military was on Wednesday investigating reports that Bundeswehr hand grenades have fallen into the hands of the Islamic State (Isis) terrorist group after a video appearing to show captured weapons surfaced on the Internet. READ  

North braces for storms and floods
Early signs of flooding at the Hamburg fish market on Wednesday morning.

North braces for storms and floods

The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. READ  

Indian schools drop German teaching
Indian pupils enrolled in German classes prepare for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to their school. Photo: DPA

Indian schools drop German teaching

Thousands of children in India will no longer be taught German after the country's education ministry allowed a contract to lapse. READ  

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt
A passenger plane landing at Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt

Three teenage girls from Colorado were arrested by German police at Frankfurt airport after running away from home, reportedly on their way to join Isis in Syria. READ  

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine
Tuesday night's rescue operation Photo: DPA

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine

Six people, including a family and two American tourists, were left dangling 40 metres in the air over the Rhine for hours late on Tuesday after Cologne's cable car came to a halt. READ  

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome
Arjen Robben celebrates the first goal against AS Roma. Photo: DPA

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome

Bayern Munich were elated on Tuesday night after securing a 7-1 victory against Roma in their group stage Champions League clash. READ  

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast
A preserved World War II U-Boat on the beach near Kiel, Germany. Photo: DPA

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast

A World War II German U-boat and an American merchant vessel it sank in battle have been found deep in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina, officials said on Tuesday. READ  

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?
Coming soon? Photo: DPA

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?

Berlin's bid to set up a free city-wide wireless network has so far come to nothing. But city bosses are now trying for a fourth time - and hope to have the project running next year. READ  

Opinion
Do German unions have too much power?
Lufthansa passengers rush to change their flights at Frankfurt Airport on Monday. Photo: DPA

Do German unions have too much power?

Germany's pilots and train drivers are taking it in turns to bring the country to a standstill with strikes that have cost the economy tens of millions of euros in the last two weeks. Are unions abusing their power or standing up for their rights? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,490
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd