Reinhold Maier was a German politician and the leader of the FDP from 1957–1960. From 1946 to 1952 he was Minister President of Württemberg-Baden and the 1st Minister President of the new state of Baden-Württemberg until 1953, he served as the 4th President of the Bundesrat in 1952/53, the only FDP politician in German history to do so to date, as well as one of only two Presidents to not come from either the CDU/CSU or the SPD. Maier was born in Schorndorf. Maier, a Protestant, was born the son of Gottlieb Maier, in Schorndorf. After attending grammar school in Schorndorf, Reinhold Maier attended the Dillmann-Gymnasium in Stuttgart and, in 1907, received his Abitur, he studied law at the University of Grenoble and at the University of Tübingen. There he was a member of the South German Tübingen fraternity "Academic Society Stuttgardia Tübingen". Here he met fellow aspiring politicians such as Eberhard Wildermuth, Karl Georg Pfleiderer, Konrad Wittwer and Wolfgang Haussmann, he received his doctorate in law in Heidelberg.
During the First World War he took part as a soldier at the foot artillery regiment 13. In 1920 he practiced as a lawyer. In 1924 he was inducted into the Masonic Lodge "Zu den 3 cedars" in Stuttgart. During the Nazi era he worked as a lawyer. Reinhold Maier was forced to divorce her under Nazi pressure but remarried her after the war in 1946. A member of the Progressive People's Party since 1912, Maier joined the newly formed left-wing liberal German Democratic Party in 1918. In 1924 he became chairman of the Stuttgart District Association of DDP. In 1945 Maier participated in the founding of the Democratic People's Party, not to be confused with the German People's Party of the Weimar Republic; the DVP was absorbed by the FDP in 1948. After the formation of the coalition of FDP / DVP, SPD and All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights under his leadership in Baden-Württemberg 1952, the Hesse FDP Association requested the expulsion of Maier and the state chairman Wolfgang Haussmann from the party along with the separation of the DVP from the FDP, but this was not successful.
From 1957 to 1960 he was Chairman of the FDP until his death honorary chairman. Maier was 1932–1933 a member of parliament for the German State Party. At the same time he was from 1932 to 1933 a member of the Württemberg Landtag. On March 23, 1933, he voted for the Enabling Act together with the other four liberal Reichstag deputies Hermann Dietrich, Theodor Heuss, Heinrich Landahl, Ernst Lemmer; the final sentence of his speech was: For the sake of people and country and in anticipation of a legitimate development, we will rescind our serious concerns and approve the Enabling Act. According to the informations of Theodor Heuss in his memoirs, the five liberal Reichstag deputies have been divided with respect to the Enabling Act. Heuss had formulated one for rejection, one for abstention. At his side, was only Hermann Dietrich. Heinrich Landahl, Ernst Lemmer and Reinhold Maier voted in the Reichstag group for approval. Heuss and Dietrich were overruled, so all Liberal MPs voted for the Enabling Act.
In the Weimar Republic Maier was a member of the German Democratic Party. In 1945 he was a founder of the Democratic People's Party, now the Baden-Württemberg-Organisation of the FDP, he died in Stuttgart. Newspaper clippings about Reinhold Maier in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
Günther Hermann Oettinger is a German politician and a member of the Christian Democratic Union. As of 1 January 2017, he serves as the European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources in the college of the Juncker Commission. From 2014 to 2016 Oettinger was the European Commissioner for Digital Society, he served as vice president of the Barroso II commission and is affiliated with the European People's Party. He served as Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg between 2005 and 2010 and as chairman of the CDU Baden-Württemberg from 2005 until 2010. Oettinger studied Economics at the University of Tübingen, he worked in an accounting and tax consulting business, before being licensed in 1984 to practice law and worked in this sector until 1988. Oettinger embarked in politics as a member of the Junge Union, the youth organisation of the CDU. From 2001 to 2005 he served as Chairman of the CDU Party in Nordwürttemberg, has been CDU Chairman of the Federal Committee for Media Politics. Oettinger was elected as a Member of the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg in 1984.
From 1991 to 2005 he was Leader of the CDU Parliamentary Group. In October 2004 the Minister President of Baden-Württemberg Erwin Teufel announced that he was to step down as Minister President and Chairman of the Baden-Württemberg CDU, effective 19 April 2005. Oettinger was elected as his successor by CDU internal party pre-elections, his referendum win – with 60.6 percent of the vote versus 39.4 percent for state Education Minister Annette Schavan – was seen at the time as a defeat for Teufel, who had promoted Schavan as his preferred successor. On 29 April 2005, Oettinger became Chairman of the CDU in Baden-Württemberg, eight days after succeeding Teufel as Minister President. In 2006 the CDU held onto their majority in the Baden-Württemberg state election. Oettinger headed a coalition regional government comprising FDP members. Oettinger was a CDU delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in 2004 and 2009. Between 2007 and 2009, he served as co-chair of the Second Commission on the modernization of the federal state, established to reform the division of powers between federal and state authorities in Germany.
Following the 2009 federal elections, Oettinger was part of the CDU/CSU team in the negotiations with the FDP on a coalition agreement. On 24 October 2009, Angela Merkel's new centre-right coalition government chose Oettinger to be a Commissioner of the European Commission, he took office on 10 February 2010, the same day he stepped down as Minister President of Baden-Württemberg. In a leaked diplomatic cable from the United States Embassy entitled "Lame Duck German Governor Kicked Upstairs as New Energy Commissioner in Brussels," U. S. Deputy Chief of Mission in Germany, Greg Delawie notes: "Chancellor Angela Merkel nominated Baden-Wuerttemberg Minister President Guenther Oettinger as EU Energy Commissioner to remove an unloved lame duck from an important CDU bastion". Delawie's cable further states: "Oettinger is noted for a lackluster public speaking-style, some commentators have asserted that Merkel, who has stood out at EU meetings, wanted to appoint a German Commissioner who would not outshine her!"
In the Second Barroso Commission, Oettinger was allocated the Energy portfolio, which had just grown in importance after the Lisbon Treaty gave the EU complete authority in the area. At his confirmation hearing before the European Parliament in 2010, Oettinger pledged to enforce the principle of solidarity on energy policy as enshrined in the EU's Lisbon Treaty so that no member state could be left disadvantaged, he struck a chord with parliamentarians by basing his security of supply strategy on diversifying gas transportation routes from third countries and promoting indigenous renewable energy. Asked about his stance on nuclear energy Oettinger said that although his country Germany sees nuclear as a bridging technology, he had no reservations against France's plans to build more nuclear capacity nor Austria's decision to abandon the technology altogether; the first phase of Oettinger’s term was dominated by the Nabucco pipeline debate, his many trips to Azerbaijan and the Caspian region as well as his negotiations with Russian energy company Gazprom.
Oettinger lobbied both for the Nabucco pipeline and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, arguing they will be needed in the medium-term as routes to help secure European gas supply. The second phase began with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 and the resulting energy transition in Germany. Oettinger advised that there should be no new taxes on energy within the EU, current taxes should not be raised, if prices are to be kept competitive with rivals fuelled by cheaper shale gas in the US. Throughout his time in office, Oettinger made headlines for his comments on constituent EU member countries’ economic situations. In remarks published by German media in May 2013, he expressed doubts about France’s economic recovery and said "too many in Europe still believe that everything will be fine." France, he said, "is unprepared to do what’s necessary," while Italy and Romania "are ungovernable." Oettinger has repeatedly been in conflict with the German government. In an interview with Die Welt in 2014, he criticized the German Federal Government’s plan to allow longer-serving employees to retire at the age of 63
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI is a senior prelate of the Catholic Church who served as its head and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "Pope Emeritus" upon his resignation. Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger had established himself as a regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958. After a long career as an academic and professor of theology at several German universities, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience. In 1981, he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia. From 2002 until his election as pope, he was Dean of the College of Cardinals.
Prior to becoming Pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century". He has lived in Rome since 1981, his prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. He was a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries, he views relativism's denial of objective truth, the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. He taught the importance of both an understanding of God's redemptive love. Pope Benedict revived a number of traditions, including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position, he strengthened the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, promoted the use of Latin, reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics". He has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s.
On 11 February 2013, Benedict unexpectedly announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013, he is the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415, the first to do so on his own initiative since Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, the title of pope, continues to dress in the papal colour of white, he was succeeded by Pope Francis on 13 March 2013, he moved into the newly renovated monastery Mater Ecclesiae for his retirement on 2 May 2013. In his retirement, Benedict XVI has made occasional public appearances alongside Pope Francis. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was born on 16 April, Holy Saturday, 1927, at Schulstraße 11, at 8:30 in the morning in his parents' home in Marktl, Germany, he was baptised the same day. He is the third and youngest child of Joseph Ratzinger, Sr. a police officer, Maria Ratzinger.
His mother's family was from South Tyrol. Pope Benedict's elder brother, Georg Ratzinger, is a Catholic priest and is the former director of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir, his sister, Maria Ratzinger, who never married, managed Cardinal Ratzinger's household until her death in 1991. At the age of five, Ratzinger was in a group of children who welcomed the visiting Cardinal Archbishop of Munich, Michael von Faulhaber, with flowers. Struck by the cardinal's distinctive garb, he announced that day that he wanted to be a cardinal, he attended the elementary school in Aschau am Inn, renamed in his honour in 2009. Ratzinger's family his father, bitterly resented the Nazis, his father's opposition to Nazism resulted in demotions and harassment of the family. Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth—as membership was required by law for all 14-year-old German boys after March 1939—but was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings, according to his brother.
In 1941, one of Ratzinger's cousins, a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome, was taken away by the Nazi regime and murdered during the Action T4 campaign of Nazi eugenics. In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer. Ratzinger trained in the German infantry; as the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family's home in Traunstein after his unit had ceased to exist, just as American troops established a headquarters in the Ratzinger household. As a German soldier, he was interned in a prisoner of war camp, but released a few months at the end of the war in May 1945. Ratzinger and his brother Georg entered Saint Michael Seminary in Traunstein in November 1945 studying at the Ducal Georgianum of the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, they were both ordained in Freising on 29 June 1951 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich. Ratzinger recalled: "at the moment the elderly Archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird – a lark – flew up from the altar in the high cathedral and trilled a little joyful song."Ratzinger's 1953 dissertation was on St. Augustine and was titled The People and the House of God in Augustine's Doctrine of the Church.
His habilitation was on Bonaven
Baden-Württemberg is a state in southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the border with France. It is Germany's third-largest state, with an area of 11 million inhabitants. Baden-Württemberg is a parliamentary republic and sovereign, federated state, formed in 1952 by a merger of the states of Württemberg-Baden, Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern; the largest city in Baden-Württemberg is the state capital of Stuttgart, followed by Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Other cities are Freiburg im Breisgau, Heilbronn, Pforzheim and Ulm; the sobriquet Ländle is sometimes used as a synonym for Baden-Württemberg. Baden-Württemberg is formed from the historical territories of Baden, Prussian Hohenzollern, Württemberg, parts of Swabia. In 100 AD, the Roman Empire invaded and occupied Württemberg, constructing a limes along its northern borders. Over the course of the third century AD, the Alemanni forced the Romans to retreat west beyond the Rhine and Danube rivers. In 496 AD the Alemanni were defeated by a Frankish invasion led by Clovis I.
The Holy Roman Empire was established. The majority of people in this region continued to be Roman Catholics after the Protestant Reformation influenced populations in northern Germany. In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, numerous people emigrated from this rural area to the United States for economic reasons. After World War II, the Allies established three federal states in the territory of modern-day Baden-Württemberg: Württemberg-Hohenzollern, Württemberg-Baden. Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern were occupied by France, while Württemberg-Baden was occupied by the United States. In 1949, each state became a founding member of the Federal Republic of Germany, with Article 118 of the German constitution providing an accession procedure. On 16 December 1951, Württemberg-Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Baden voted via referendum in favor of a joint merger. Baden-Württemberg became a state in West Germany on 25 April 1952. Baden-Württemberg shares borders with the German states of Rhineland Palatinate and Bavaria, Switzerland.
Most of the major cities of Baden-Württemberg straddle the banks of the Neckar River, which runs downstream through the state past Tübingen, Heilbronn and Mannheim. The Rhine forms the western border as well as large portions of the southern border; the Black Forest, the main mountain range of the state, rises east of the Upper Rhine valley. The high plateau of the Swabian Alb, between the Neckar, the Black Forest, the Danube, is an important European watershed. Baden-Württemberg shares Lake Constance with Switzerland and Bavaria, the international borders within its waters not being defined, it shares the foothills of the Alps with Bavaria and the Austrian Vorarlberg, but Baden-Württemberg does not border Austria over land. The Danube River has its source in Baden-Württemberg near the town of Donaueschingen, in a place called Furtwangen in the Black Forest. Baden-Württemberg is divided into thirty-five districts and nine independent cities, both grouped into the four Administrative Districts of Freiburg, Stuttgart, Tübingen.
Map Baden-Württemberg contains nine additional independent cities not belonging to any district: The state parliament of Baden-Württemberg is the Landtag. The politics of Baden-Württemberg have traditionally been dominated by the conservative Christian Democratic Union of Germany, who until 2011 had led all but one government since the establishment of the state in 1952. In the Landtag elections held on 27 March 2011 voters replaced the Christian Democrats and centre-right Free Democrats coalition by a Greens-led alliance with the Social Democrats which secured a four-seat majority in the state parliament. From 1992 to 2001, the Republicans party held seats in the Landtag; the Baden-Württemberg General Auditing Office acts as an independent body to monitor the correct use of public funds by public offices. Although Baden-Württemberg has few natural resources compared to other regions of Germany, the state is among the most prosperous and wealthiest regions in Europe with a low unemployment rate historically.
A number of well-known enterprises are headquartered in the state, for example Daimler AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, Carl Zeiss AG, SAP SE and Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. In spite of this, Baden-Württemberg's economy is dominated by medium-sized enterprises. Although poor in workable natural resources and still rural in many areas, the region is industrialised. In 2003, there were 8,800 manufacturing enterprises with more than 20 employees, but only 384 with more than 500; the latter category accounts for 43% of the 1.2 million persons employed in industry. The Mittelstand or mid-sized company is the backbone of the Baden-Württemberg economy. Medium-sized businesses and a tradition of branching out into different industrial sectors have ensured specialization over a wide range. A fifth of the "old" Federal Republic's industrial gross value added is generated by Baden-Württemberg. Turnover for manufacturing in 2003 e
Willy Brandt was a German statesman, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany from 1964 to 1987 and served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts to strengthen cooperation in western Europe through the EEC and to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of Eastern Europe, he was the first Social Democrat chancellor since 1930. Fleeing to Norway and Sweden during the Nazi regime and working as a left-wing journalist, he took the name Willy Brandt as a pseudonym to avoid detection by Nazi agents, formally adopted the name in 1948. Brandt was considered one of the leaders of the right wing of the SPD, earned initial fame as Governing Mayor of West Berlin, he served as Foreign Minister and as Vice Chancellor in Kurt Georg Kiesinger's cabinet, became chancellor in 1969. As chancellor, he maintained West Germany's close alignment with the United States and focused on strengthening European integration in western Europe, while launching the new policy of Ostpolitik aimed at improving relations with Eastern Europe.
Brandt was controversial on both the right wing, for his Ostpolitik, on the left wing, for his support of American policies, including the Vietnam War, right-wing authoritarian regimes. The Brandt Report became a recognised measure for describing the general North-South divide in world economics and politics between an affluent North and a poor South. Brandt was known for his fierce anti-communist policies at the domestic level, culminating in the Radikalenerlass in 1972. Brandt resigned as chancellor in 1974, after Günter Guillaume, one of his closest aides, was exposed as an agent of the Stasi, the East German secret service. Willy Brandt was born Herbert Ernst Carl Frahm in the Free City of Lübeck on 18 December 1913, his mother was Martha Frahm a single parent. His father was an accountant from Hamburg named John Heinrich Möller; as his mother worked six days a week, he was brought up by his mother's stepfather, Ludwig Frahm, his second wife, Dora. He joined the "Socialist Youth" in 1929 and the Social Democratic Party in 1930.
He left the SPD to join the more left wing Socialist Workers Party, allied to the POUM in Spain and the Independent Labour Party in Britain. After passing his Abitur in 1932 at Johanneum zu Lübeck, he became an apprentice at the shipbroker and ship's agent F. H. Bertling. In 1933, using his connections with the port and its ships, he left Germany for Norway to escape Nazi persecution, it was at this time. In 1934, he took part in the founding of the International Bureau of Revolutionary Youth Organizations, was elected to its secretariat. Brandt was in Germany from September to December 1936, disguised as a Norwegian student named Gunnar Gaasland; the real Gunnar Gaasland was married to Gertrud Meyer from Lübeck in a marriage of convenience to protect her from deportation. Meyer had joined Brandt in Norway in July 1933. In 1937, during the Civil War, Brandt worked in Spain as a journalist. In 1938, the German government revoked his citizenship. In 1940, he was arrested in Norway by occupying German forces, but was not identified as he wore a Norwegian uniform.
On his release, he escaped to neutral Sweden. In August 1940, he became a Norwegian citizen, receiving his passport from the Norwegian legation in Stockholm, where he lived until the end of the war. Willy Brandt lectured in Sweden on 1 December 1940 at Bommersvik College about problems experienced by the social democrats in Nazi Germany and the occupied countries at the start of the Second World War. In exile in Norway and Sweden Brandt learned Swedish. Brandt spoke Norwegian fluently, retained a close relationship with Norway. In late 1946, Brandt returned to Berlin. In 1948, he joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany and became a German citizen again, formally adopting the pseudonym Willy Brandt as his legal name. Brandt was elected to the West German Bundestag in the 1949 West German federal election as a SPD delegate from West Berlin, serving there until 1957. Concurrently, he was elected as an SPD representative to the Abgeordnetenhaus of West Berlin in the 1950 West Berlin state election, served there through 1971.
In the 1969 West German federal election he was again elected to the Bundestag, but as a delegate from North Rhine-Westphalia, remained in the Bundestag as a delegate from that state until his death in 1992. In 1950, while a member of the Bundestag and the editor-in-chief of the Berliner Stadtblatt, received a secret payment of about 170,000 Deutsche Mark from the U. S. government. He denied any contribution to the topic. From 3 October 1957 to 1966, Willy Brandt served as Governing Mayor of Berlin, during a period of increasing tension in East-West relations that led to the construction of the Berlin Wall. In Brandt's first year as mayor of Berlin, he served as the president of the Bundesrat in Bonn. Brandt was an outspoken critic of Soviet repression of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and of Nikita Khrushchev's 1958 proposal that Berlin receive the status of a "free city", he was supported by the influential publisher Axel Springer. As mayor of West Berlin, Brandt accomplished much in the way of urban development.
Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder is a German politician, served as Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005, during which his most important political project was the Agenda 2010. As a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, he led a coalition government of the SPD and the Greens. Before becoming a full-time politician, he was a lawyer, before becoming Chancellor he served as Prime Minister of Lower Saxony. Following the 2005 federal election, which his party lost, after three weeks of negotiations he stood down as Chancellor in favour of Angela Merkel of the rival Christian Democratic Union, he is the chairman of the board of Nord Stream AG and of Rosneft, after having been hired as a global manager by investment bank Rothschild, the chairman of the board of football club Hannover 96. Schröder was born in Mossenberg, German Reich, his father, Fritz Schröder, a lance corporal in the Wehrmacht, was killed in action in World War II in Romania on 4 October 1944 six months after Gerhard's birth.
His mother, worked as an agricultural laborer so that she could support herself and her two sons. Schröder completed an apprenticeship in retail sales in a Lemgo hardware shop from 1958 to 1961 and subsequently worked in a Lage retail shop and after that as an unskilled construction worker and a sales clerk in Göttingen while studying at night school for a general qualification for university entrance, he did not have to do military service. In 1966, Schröder secured entrance to a university, passing the Abitur exam at Westfalen-Kolleg, Bielefeld. From 1966–71 he studied law at the University of Göttingen. From 1972 onwards, Schröder served as a scientific assistant at the university. In 1976, he passed his second law examination, he subsequently worked as a lawyer until 1990. Among his more controversial cases, Schröder helped Horst Mahler, a founding member of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, to secure both an early release from prison and permission to practice law again in Germany. Schröder joined the Social Democratic Party in 1963.
In 1978 he became the federal chairman of the Young Socialists, the youth organisation of the SPD. He spoke for the dissident Rudolf Bahro, as did President Jimmy Carter, Herbert Marcuse, Wolf Biermann. In 1980, Schröder was elected to the German Bundestag, where he wore a sweater instead of the traditional suit. Under the leadership of successive chairmen Herbert Wehner and Hans-Jochen Vogel, he served in the SPD parliamentary group, he became chairman of the SPD Hanover district. In a frequently-cited and undenied newspaper story, a drunken Schröder is reported to have stood in 1982 outside the forbidding modernist chancellery building in Bonn, clutching the black iron railings and yelling: "I want to get in." That same year, he wrote an article on the idea of a red/green coalition for a book at Olle & Wolter, Berlin. Chancellor Willy Brandt, the SPD and SI chairman, who reviewed Olle & Wolter at that time, had just asked for more books on the subject. In 1985, Schröder met the GDR leader Erich Honecker during a visit to East Berlin.
In 1986, Schröder became leader of the SPD group. After the SPD won the state elections in June 1990, Schröder became Minister-President of Lower Saxony as head of an SPD-Greens coalition, he was subsequently appointed to the supervisory board of Volkswagen, the largest company in Lower Saxony and of which the state of Lower Saxony is a major stockholder. Following his election as Minister-President in 1990, Schröder became a member of the board of the federal SPD. In 1997 and 1998, he served as President of the Bundesrat. During Schröder’s time in office, first in coalition with the environmentalist Green Party with a clear majority, Lower Saxony became one of the most deficit-ridden of Germany's 16 federal states and unemployment rose higher than the national average of 12 percent. Ahead of the 1994 elections, SPD chairman Rudolf Scharping included Schröder in his shadow cabinet for the party’s campaign to unseat incumbent Helmut Kohl as Chancellor. During the campaign, Schröder served as shadow minister of economic affairs and transport.
In 1996, Schröder caused controversy by taking a free ride on the Volkswagen corporate jet to attend the Vienna Opera Ball, along with Volkswagen CEO Ferdinand Piëch. The following year, he nationalized a big steel mill in Lower Saxony to preserve jobs. In the 1998 state elections, Schöder’s Social Democrats increased their share of the vote by about four percentage points over the 44.3 percent they recorded in the previous elections in 1994 – a postwar record for the party in Lower Saxony that reversed a string of Social Democrat reversals in state elections elsewhere. First term, 1998–2002 Following the 1998 national elections, Schröder became Chancellor as head of an SPD-Green coalition. Throughout his campaign for Chancellor, he portrayed himself as a pragmatic new Social Democrat who would promote economic growth while strengthening Germany's generous social welfare system. After the resignation of Oskar Lafontaine as SPD Chairman in March 1999, in protest at Schröder's adoption of a number of what Lafontaine considered "neo-liberal" policies, Schröder took over his rival's office as well.
In a move meant to signal a deepening alliance between Schröder and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom, the two leaders issued an eighteen-page manifesto for economic reform in June 1999. Titled Europe: The Third Way, or Die Neue Mitte in German, it called on Europe's cen
Chancellor of Germany
The title Chancellor has designated different offices in the history of Germany. It is used for the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the head of government of Germany; the term, dating from the Early Middle Ages, is derived from the Latin term cancellarius. The modern office of chancellor evolved from the position created for Otto von Bismarck in the North German Confederation in 1867; the role of the chancellor has varied throughout Germany's modern history. Today, the chancellor is the country's effective leader, although in formal protocol, the Bundespräsident and Bundestagspräsident are ranked higher. In German politics, the chancellor is the equivalent of a prime minister in many other countries; the chancellor is elected by the Bundestag. The current, official title in German is Bundeskanzler, which means "Federal Chancellor", is sometimes shortened to Kanzler; the 8th and current chancellor is Angela Merkel, serving her fourth term in office. She is the first female chancellor.
The title of Chancellor has a long history, stemming back to the Holy Roman Empire, when the office of German archchancellor was held by Archbishops of Mainz. The title was, at times, used in several states of German-speaking Europe; the modern office of chancellor was established with the North German Confederation, of which Otto von Bismarck became Bundeskanzler in 1867. With the enlargement of this federal state to the German Empire in 1871, the title was renamed to Reichskanzler. With Germany's constitution of 1949, the title of Bundeskanzler was revived. During the various eras, the role of the chancellor has varied. From 1867 to 1918, the chancellor was the only responsible minister of the federal level, he was installed by the federal presidium. The Staatssekretäre were civil servants subordinate to the chancellor. Besides the executive, the constitution gave the chancellor only one function: presiding over the Federal Council, the representative organ of the states, but in reality, the chancellor was nearly always installed as minister president of Prussia, too.
Indirectly, this gave the chancellor the power of the Federal Council, including the dissolution of parliament. Although effective government was possible only on cooperation with the parliament, the results of the elections had only an indirect influence on the chancellorship, at most. Only in October 1918, the constitution was changed: it required the chancellor to have the trust of the parliament; some two weeks Chancellor Max von Baden declared the abdication of the emperor and ceded power illegally to the revolutionary Council of People’s Delegates. According to the Weimar Constitution of 1919, the chancellor was head of a collegial government; the chancellor was appointed and dismissed by the president, as were the ministers, upon proposal by the chancellor. The chancellor or any minister had to be dismissed; as today, the chancellor had the prerogative to determine the guidelines of government. In reality this power was limited by the president; when the Nazis came to power on 30 January 1933, the Weimar Constitution was de facto set aside.
After the death of President Hindenburg in 1934, Adolf Hitler, the dictatorial party leader and chancellor, took over the powers of the president. The new official title became Führer und Reichskanzler; the 1949 constitution gave the chancellor much greater powers than during the Weimar Republic, while diminishing the role of the president. Germany is today referred to as a "chancellor democracy", reflecting the role of the chancellor as the country's chief executive. Since 1867, 33 individuals have served as heads of government of Germany, West Germany, or Northern Germany, nearly all of them with the title of Chancellor. Due to his administrative tasks, the head of the clerics at the chapel of an imperial palace during the Carolingian Empire was called chancellor; the chapel's college acted as the Emperor's chancery issuing capitularies. Since the days of Louis the German, the archbishop of Mainz was ex officio German archchancellor, a position he held until the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, while de jure the archbishop of Cologne was chancellor of Italy and the archbishop of Trier of Burgundy.
These three prince-archbishops were prince-electors of the empire electing the King of the Romans. In medieval times, the German chancellor had political power like Archbishop Willigis or Rainald von Dassel under Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. In 1559, Emperor Ferdinand I established the agency of an imperial chancellery at the Vienna Hofburg Palace, headed by a vice-chancellor under the nominal authority of the Mainz archbishop. Upon the 1620 Battle of White Mountain, Emperor Ferdinand II created the office of an Austrian court chancellor in charge of the internal and foreign affairs of the Habsburg Monarchy. From 1753 onwards, the office of an Austrian state chancellor was held by Prince Kaunitz; the imperial chancellery lost its importance, from the days of Maria Theresa and Joseph II existed on paper. After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince Metternich served as state chancellor of the Austrian Empire Prince Hardenberg acted as Prussian chancellor; the German