• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Steinbrück: We want to remove this government

The Local · 28 Sep 2012, 17:12

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.

Story continues below…

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
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd