• Germany's news in English

Ilse Aigner: Bavaria's dirndl-wearing 'dinosaur'

The Local · 28 Dec 2012, 14:48

Published: 28 Dec 2012 14:48 GMT+01:00

The criticism was sharp. The environmental organization NABU handed its 2012 "Dinosaur of the Year" award to Aigner for her "reactionary special interest politics," which defy the principles of sustainable policy, said NABU President Olaf Tschimpke, before going on to accuse Aigner of hanging on to "an environmentally damaging agriculture policy and a disappointing commitment to better animal protection law."

On top of that, Tschimpke said Aigner had blocked initiatives towards more ecological hunting laws and sustainable fishing policies.

Aigner, the first woman to be given a NABU dinosaur, shot back at the conservationists in particularly belligerent style, saying through a spokesman's statement that NABU should win the "blind nut of the year." "NABU puts its faith in cheap PR gags and closes its eyes to reality," the statement said.

The spokesman also defended Aigner's record in the Agriculture Ministry, saying that in her five-year tenure, Germany had modernized its farming, and shifted subsidies to a flat per-hectare fee rather than production to encourage more sustainable practices.

The 48-year-old Aigner is a Bavarian by nature and nurture. A Roman Catholic, a member of the conservative Christian Social Union (the Bavarian sister party to Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union) since her teenage years, she was first elected to the Bundestag in 1998 representing the picturesque town of Starnberg outside Munich.

After sitting on a number of parliamentary committees, and taking on the role of CDU/CSU education and research spokeswoman when Merkel was elected in 2005, she was finally promoted to the cabinet in 2008, where she took over from her party leader Horst Seehofer at the Ministry for Agriculture and Consumer Protection.

Apart from criticizing food price increases, and once publicly deleting her Facebook profile in protest at new privacy rules, one of Aigner's main policy bugbears over the past five years has been the fees on cash machines.

But now apparently content with her service to the Federal Republic, Aigner has announced her decision to resign from the cabinet at the end of the legislative period, in autumn 2013, to re-enter the Bavarian state parliament.

Story continues below…

This means she'd be following in Seehofer's footsteps yet again (he did the same in 2008 to take up the premiership of Bavaria). Now, many say she is preparing to succeed him as both leader of the CSU and Bavaria.

Her party colleague Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer more or less confirmed such rumours by mooting Aigner as a possible successor to Seehofer. "She would have outstanding credentials for the positions of party chairwoman and state premier," he told Die Welt newspaper.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:38 December 28, 2012 by blackboot11
Thank s be to God I don't live in Bavaria...too many Roman Catholics...LOL!
21:54 December 28, 2012 by www.emungus.net

This post of mine may be of no interest since its core is maybe folded in nothingness... If NABU accusation proves to be valid, it is a proof of failure to minister Ilse Aigner. Now let us have a look on the other hand , maybe the most futile but obvious. The physical aspect has its positive side, it allows one the benefit of certain exemptions : by the force of their so overwhelming beauty, women enjoy some immunity (willing or not). This said, the term '' Dinosaur'' is strong for this beautiful dark-skinned, brown-haired lady. She is insatiably attractive. So, dear Sir at NABU, please find another word enough to convince the guilt of Mrs . Aigner.
06:07 December 29, 2012 by wenddiver
Judginging by the dirndl I would guess she really knows how to get men to do things, a real leader.
05:54 December 30, 2012 by Bulldawg82
I love a woman in a dirndl. I think she is hot.
13:00 December 30, 2012 by Englishted
Would Barney would look good in a dirndl?
06:52 December 31, 2012 by RainerL
Well" With all the crap that the younger Girls wear it is nice to see something decent on a Lady. She looks great in it. More Women should wear it.
17:35 January 3, 2013 by C Robert
I wonder how Angela will look like in the Dirndl... Probably need extra padding or scaffolding to support
Today's headlines
Half of Germans fear dementia in old age
File photo: DPA

Half of Germans fear dementia in old age

9 minutes ago

Half of Germans are scared of suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, a survey published on Thursday found, making it second only to cancer among the nation's health fears. But neither of them is the nation's biggest killer.

Ten out-of-this-world pictures of Germany
The Bavarian Alps. Photo: Nasa

Ten out-of-this-world pictures of Germany

16 minutes ago

Nasa has opened an online archive of shots taken from the International Space Station. Here are some of Spain looking her best.

60,000 Germans want Google to forget them
Photo: DPA

60,000 Germans want Google to forget them

2 hours ago

Since a top European court ruled people have a right to be forgotten online, Google has received 348,085 requests for tidbits to vanish from search results.

Fight against Isis
German forces WILL back France in Syria fight
A Bundeswehr (German army) Tornado aircraft pictured in Afghanistan in 2007. Photo: DPA

German forces WILL back France in Syria fight

3 hours ago

Germany will offer military aid to France in the fight against Isis in Syria, Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Paris on Wednesday.

The Local List
5 ways German schools trump the US and UK
Students in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

5 ways German schools trump the US and UK

18 hours ago

A new report reveals how Germany's education system stacks up against the United States and the UK - with good news for kids in the Federal Republic.

Woman sleeps with scorpion for 3 months
Photo: Polizei Herford

Woman sleeps with scorpion for 3 months

19 hours ago

A woman in western Germany was horrified on Sunday after finding a scorpion in her bed that had stowed away during her sunshine holiday this summer.

North Germans are the happiest, survey finds
Schleswig-Holstein is official Germany's happiest state, according to this year's poll. Photo: DPA

North Germans are the happiest, survey finds

20 hours ago

Want to find your happy place in Germany? You might want to move to Schleswig-Holstein, according to the latest "Happiness Atlas" produced by Deutsche Post.

German Mali troops to free France for Isis fight
The Bundeswehr on operation in Mali. Photo: DPA

German Mali troops to free France for Isis fight

23 hours ago

Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday, to provide some relief to France in its global fight against Isis jihadists.

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas
Swastikas are often daubed on mosques and Jewish grave stones, among other things. File photo: DPA

German teacher fined for painting over swastikas

1 day ago

A teacher from central Germany has been ordered to pay a €1,000 fine after he painted over swastikas which had been sprayed on public property.

Refugee crisis
Merkel tries to hit tough-but-fair note on refugees
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Wednesday morning. Photo: DPA

Merkel tries to hit tough-but-fair note on refugees

1 day ago

Angela Merkel continued her balancing act between her party and her principles in a speech to MPs on Wednesday as she attempted to reassure parliament that she had the refugee crisis under control.

Germany's 10 most-expensive cities
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd