• Germany's news in English

Müntefering’s love life irritates fellow Social Democrats

The Local · 19 Jun 2009, 11:59

Published: 19 Jun 2009 11:59 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Müntefering, who is 69 and a widower, showed up at an SPD convention Saturday with his new partner, the 29-year-old Michelle Schumann.

According to Tagesspiegel, some party members said Müntefering’s move was “undisciplined,” “unreasonable,” and “obstinate” and even mooted his appearance with Schumann was the beginning of the end of his time as chairman.

The unnamed SPD critics said Müntefering was drawing attention to himself at precisely the moment when the party and German voters need to focus on the SPD’s chancellor candidate, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The paper reported that Steinmeier himself was not pleased with having to share the limelight with Müntefering’s younger and more attractive new partner.

The criticism comes as the centre-left SPD has reached historic lows in recent opinion polls. The party pulled in just 20.8 percent of the vote in June 7 European Parliament elections. A poll released last week showed the SPD drawing just 21 percent of the vote ahead of September 27 national elections compared to the 34.2 percent share it drew in the 2005 election.

Steinmeier himself is unloved by German voters as a potential future chancellor, drawing just 27 percent of the hypothetical vote against Christian Democratic Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 60 percent in another recent poll.

Story continues below…

Müntefering has had a long career in German politics and has served in many capacities including as labour minister and had a previous stint leading the SPD in the past. He withdrew from politics in November 2007, when his wife of many years was diagnosed with cancer. She died in July 2008 and not long thereafter, Müntefering returned to politics.

Müntefering’s new flame, Michelle Schumann, worked in Müntefering’s parliamentary office before the two became a couple.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Eurowings union threatens cabin crew strike for Thursday
Photo: DPA.

A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will start as of Thursday if ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd