Wolfgang Schaeuble, former German finance minister, dies

Wolfgang Schaeuble, who helped negotiate German reunification in 1990 and was later influential in steering Europe through the debt crisis, has died at 81.
Mr Schaeuble died at home on Tuesday evening, his family told German news agency dpa on Wednesday.

He took the job as former chancellor Angela Merkel’s finance minister in 2009, just before revelations about Greece’s ballooning budget deficit sparked the debt crisis.
He pulled the strings of Germany’s policy response, securing support on the right of Ms Merkel’s conservative bloc for three Greek bailouts.
After eight years as finance minister, Mr Schaeuble cemented his status as an elder statesman by becoming the German parliament’s speaker.

A member of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), he had been a member of parliament without interruption since 1972.
At the time of his death, he was the country’s longest-serving lawmaker.
Mr Schaeuble was shot at during an election rally in 1990, just after reunification.
He was paralysed from the waist down and used a wheelchair for the rest of his life.


He returned to work weeks later and, the following year, was credited with helping sway Germany’s parliament to move the reunited nation’s capital from Bonn to Berlin.
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Ms Merkel said Mr Schaeuble was a “political teacher” when she was a young minister in the 1990s and “one of the anchors” of her cabinets.
She said she “admired his discipline, including toward himself”.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he “shaped our country for more than half a century: as a lawmaker, minister and parliament speaker”.
“With him, Germany is losing a sharp thinker, a passionate politician and a combative democrat,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
As interior minister, Mr Schaeuble, who represented the west, was key in drawing up the terms of Germany’s reunification treaty, signed in August 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“He epitomised post-war democratic Germany like few others,” said interior minister Nancy Faeser.

Source : Sky News