Wolfgang Schäuble (German pronunciation: [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ ˈʃɔʏblə]; born 18 September 1942) is a German lawyer, politician and statesman whose political career has spanned for more than five decades. A member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), he is one of the longest-serving politicians in German history. Schäuble served as President of the Bundestag from 2017 to 2021.

Wolfgang Schäuble
Schäuble in 2007 (Photo by Oliver Mark)
Father of the Bundestag
Assumed office
26 October 2021
Preceded byHermann Otto Solms
President of the Bundestag
In office
24 October 2017 – 26 October 2021
Preceded byNorbert Lammert
Succeeded byBärbel Bas
Minister of Finance
In office
28 October 2009 – 24 October 2017
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byPeer Steinbrück
Succeeded byPeter Altmaier (acting)
Minister of the Interior
In office
22 November 2005 – 27 October 2009
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byOtto Schily
Succeeded byThomas de Maizière
In office
21 April 1989 – 26 November 1991
ChancellorHelmut Kohl
Preceded byFriedrich Zimmermann
Succeeded byRudolf Seiters
Leader of the Christian Democratic Union
In office
7 November 1998 – 16 February 2000
General SecretaryAngela Merkel
Preceded byHelmut Kohl
Succeeded byAngela Merkel
Leader of the Opposition
In office
27 October 1998 – 29 February 2000
ChancellorGerhard Schröder
Preceded byRudolf Scharping
Succeeded byFriedrich Merz
Leader of the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag
In office
25 November 1991 – 29 February 2000
First Deputy
Chief WhipJürgen Rüttgers
Joachim Hörster
Hans-Peter Repnik
Preceded byAlfred Dregger
Succeeded byFriedrich Merz
Head of the Chancellery
Minister for Special Affairs
In office
15 November 1984 – 21 April 1989
ChancellorHelmut Kohl
Preceded byWaldemar Schreckenberger (as Secretary of State)
Succeeded byRudolf Seiters
Chief Whip of the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag
In office
4 October 1982 – 15 November 1984
LeaderAlfred Dregger
Preceded byPhilipp Jenninger
Succeeded byRudolf Seiters
Whip of the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag
In office
23 June 1981 – 4 October 1982
Serving with Wolfgang Bötsch, Wilhelm Rawe, Dorothee Wilms
LeaderHelmut Kohl
Chief WhipPhilipp Jenninger
Preceded byGerhard Kunz
Succeeded byRudolf Seiters
Agnes Hürland-Büning
Member of the Bundestag
for Offenburg
Assumed office
13 December 1972
Preceded byHans Furler
Personal details
Born (1942-09-18) 18 September 1942 (age 81)
Freiburg im Breisgau, Republic of Baden, German Reich
Political partyChristian Democratic Union (1965–present)
Ingeborg Hensle
(m. 1969)
Alma mater
  • Politician
  • Lawyer
  • Civil Servant
WebsiteOfficial website

Born in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1942,[1] Schäuble studied at both the University of Freiburg and the University of Hamburg and subsequently began a career in law at the district court of Offenburg in 1978. His political career began in 1969 as a member of the Junge Union, the youth division of the CDU and CSU; in 1972, Schäuble was elected to the Bundestag by winning the constituency seat of Offenburg, and he was still a member of the Bundestag in 2022. His ministerial career began in 1984 when he was appointed Minister for Special Affairs by Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In a 1989 reshuffle, Schäuble was appointed Minister of the Interior, and he led negotiations for reunification on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany.[2][3] During his tenure as Minister of the Interior, Schäuble was one of the most popular politicians in Germany and was regularly mentioned as a possible future Chancellor,[4] though he faced occasional criticism from civil rights activists for his law and order policies.[5]

After the defeat of the CDU/CSU in the 1998 federal election, Schäuble succeeded his mentor Helmut Kohl as Chairman of the CDU, but resigned after less than two years in the aftermath of the 1999 party financing scandal.[6] In 2005, Schäuble again became Minister of the Interior in the Cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel, and in 2009 Minister of Finance,[1] a position he remained in for almost eight years. Described in this capacity as "Germany's second most powerful person" after Merkel,[7] he took a hard line towards Southern European countries during the eurozone crisis[8] and rejected calls from the International Monetary Fund to give Greece more time to rein in deficits.[9] A proponent of austerity policies, Schäuble's 2014 budget allowed Germany to take on no new debt for the first time since 1969,[10][11] which is generally known as Black Zero in CDU election campaigns.

On 27 September 2017 the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag announced Schäuble's nomination as President of the Bundestag.[12] He was elected to that position on 24 October 2017. Following the defeat of the CDU/CSU in the 2021 German federal election, Schäuble lost the office by October 2021.

Early life and education Edit

Schäuble in early years

Schäuble was born in Freiburg im Breisgau, as the son of tax finance advisor and politician Karl Schäuble and Gertrud Göhring. He is the middle brother of three.[1]

After completing his Abitur in 1961, Schäuble studied law and economics at the University of Freiburg and the University of Hamburg, which he completed in 1966 and 1970 by passing the First and Second State Examinations respectively, becoming a fully qualified lawyer.[citation needed]

In 1971, Schäuble obtained his doctorate in law, with a dissertation called "The public accountant's professional legal situation within accountancy firms".[citation needed]

Early career Edit

Schäuble entered the tax administration of the state of Baden-Württemberg, eventually becoming a senior administration officer in the Freiburg tax office.[citation needed] Subsequently, he became a practising registered lawyer at the district court of Offenburg, from 1978 to 1984.[citation needed]

Political career Edit

Schäuble's political career began in 1961 with him joining the Junge Union ("Young Union"), the youth division of the CDU. During his studies he served as chairman of the Ring Christlich-Demokratischer Studenten (Association of Christian-Democrat Students, RCDS), in Hamburg and Freiburg. In 1965 Schäuble also became a member of the CDU. From 1969 to 1972, he was district chairman of the Junge Union in South Baden. From 1976 to 1984, he served as chairman of the CDU National Committee for Sport.

Member of Parliament, 1972 to present Edit

Schäuble has been a member of the Bundestag since 1972. On 21 October 2017, Schäuble became the longest serving member of parliament in German history overtaking August Bebel, who had been a member of the North German Reichstag and the Reichstag from 1867 until 1881 and from 1883 until 1913.[13] From 1981 to 1984 he was parliamentary whip of the CDU/CSU group and in November 1991 he became its chairman. Schäuble gave up this position in 2000 as another consequence of the financing scandal. Between October 2002 and 2005, Schäuble served as the parliamentary group's deputy chairman, under the leadership of Angela Merkel.

Schäuble has always been elected to the Bundestag by means of winning an electorate seat, rather than through a list placing in Germany's system of proportional political representation.

Federal Minister for Special Affairs, 1984–1989 Edit

On 15 November 1984, Schäuble was appointed as Minister for Special Affairs and head of the Chancellery by Chancellor Helmut Kohl. When in 1986 Soviet press belabored Kohl for having, in a magazine interview, made a comparison between the propaganda skills of Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Joseph Goebbels, Schäuble was reported to have counseled the Chancellor against writing Gorbachev an apology for the remark, saying it would be misunderstood as a sign of weakness.[14]

In his capacity as Minister for Special Affairs, Schäuble was put in charge of the preparations for the first official state visit of Erich Honecker, Chairman of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), in 1987. By that time, he was widely considered to be one of Kohl's closest advisers.[15]

Federal Minister of the Interior, 1989–1991 Edit

Schäuble (front centre) as Federal Minister of the Interior, 1989

In a cabinet reshuffle Schäuble was made Minister of the Interior on 21 April 1989. In this role he also led the negotiations on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany for reunification with the GDR in 1990.[16] He and East German State Secretary Günther Krause signed the Unification Treaty on 31 August 1990.[2][3] In a speech to parliament in 1991, Schäuble clinched the argument in favour of moving the German capital from Bonn to Berlin.[17]

In the 1990s Schäuble was one of the most popular politicians in Germany[citation needed] and there was constant speculation that he would replace Kohl as Chancellor, whose popularity was declining.[4] In November 1991, Schäuble became the Christian Democrats' parliamentary floor leader, replacing 71-year-old Alfred Dregger, in a move that made him Kohl's likely heir-apparent.[18] In 1997 Helmut Kohl stated that Schäuble was his desired candidate to succeed him, but he did not want to hand over power until 2002 when the European monetary union would be completed with the introduction of the euro.[citation needed] However, as the CDU/CSU lost the 1998 election, Schäuble never became Chancellor.

After Eberhard Diepgen was voted out as mayor of Berlin, Schäuble was in talks to be the top candidate for the early election on 21 October 2001, but was rejected by the Berlin branch of the CDU in favour of Frank Steffel.

Some quarters of the CDU and CSU wanted to put Schäuble forward as their candidate for the office of German President, the largely ceremonial head of state, at the beginning of March 2004, due to his extensive political experience. In spite of support from the Premiers of Bavaria (Edmund Stoiber (CSU)) and Hesse (Roland Koch (CDU)),[citation needed] Schäuble did not receive the party's nomination in the end because CDU leader Angela Merkel, other CDU politicians and the liberal FDP party spoke out against him. This was because the election contributions scandal involving Schäuble that first came to light in late 1999 had never been entirely resolved.[citation needed]

CDU Party Chairman, 1998–2000 Edit

After the CDU was defeated in the 1998 federal election, Schäuble succeeded Helmut Kohl as chairman of the CDU. Only 15 months later,[6] he resigned from this post as well as from the leadership of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in 2000 in the wake of the party financing scandal, over the acceptance of cash donation over DM 100,000 contributed by the arms dealer and lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber back in 1994.[19] Schäuble's resignation initiated a generational change among the Christian Democrats, with Angela Merkel taking over as CDU leader and Friedrich Merz as chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.[6][20][21]

Federal Minister of the Interior, 2005–2009 Edit

Schäuble in 2007

Ahead of the 2005 elections, Angela Merkel included Schäuble in her shadow cabinet for the Christian Democrats' campaign to unseat incumbent Gerhard Schröder as chancellor. During the campaign, Schäuble served as Merkel's expert for security and foreign policy.[22]

Following the elections, Schäuble was mentioned as potential candidate for the office of Federal Minister of Defense.[23] In the subsequent negotiations to form a coalition government, however, he led the CDU/CSU delegation in the working group on interior policy; his co-chair from the SPD was Brigitte Zypries.[24] Once the new government was formed, Schäuble once again became Minister of the Interior, this time in the Grand Coalition under Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Between 2007 and 2009, Schäuble was one of 32 members of the Second Commission on the modernization of the federal state, which had been established to reform the division of powers between federal and state authorities in Germany.

Federal Minister of Finance, 2009–2017 Edit

Following the 2009 federal election, Schäuble, by then one of Germany's most seasoned politicians,[25] became Minister of Finance in October 2009. Then aged 67, he was the oldest man in the cabinet and the longest-serving member of the parliament[1] in the history of the Federal Republic.[17] He was also one of seven conservative ministers in Merkel's outgoing government who remained in power.[26] By 2014, the Wall Street Journal called Schäuble "Germany's second most powerful person after Chancellor Angela Merkel".[7]

During his time in office, Schäuble was widely regarded the most vocal advocate in the government of European integration,[27] and a passionate proponent of co-operation with France.[28] Along with Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, he has often taken a hard line toward some Southern European countries during the eurozone crisis.[8] In 2012, Schäuble rejected calls from the chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, to give Greece more time to make additional spending cuts to rein in deficits.[9] That same year, President Karolos Papoulias of Greece accused Schäuble of insulting his nation.[29] In October 2013, Schäuble was accused by the former Portuguese Prime Minister, José Sócrates, for regularly placing news in the media against Portugal during the eurozone crisis prior to the Portuguese bailout; Sócrates called him a "Sly Minister of Finance".[30]

A leading advocate of austerity during the eurozone crisis,[10] Schäuble in 2014 pushed through a national budget of 299 billion euros that allowed Germany not to take on any new debt for the first time since 1969.[11] In the first half of 2016, he recorded an 18.5 billion euros budget surplus.[31] He has been described variously as the "personification of fiscal discipline"[32] and "Europe's foremost ayatollah of austerity".[33] Schäuble's reputation for tough control of spending has been helped by Germany's rapid recovery from recession but he has repeatedly rebuffed calls from government supporters for vote-winning tax cuts.[28] Throughout his tenure, he stood by his position that structural reforms such as overhauling labor markets in Europe are the way out of a low-growth spiral.[34] In 2013, for example, Schäuble and Vítor Gaspar, his counterpart in Portugal, announced a plan to use the German state development bank KfW to help set up a financial institution to assist Portuguese under age 25 in getting jobs or job training.[35]

In 2012, following the resignation of Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the 17 euro zone finance ministers, known as the Eurogroup, suggestions soon gathered pace that Chancellor Angela Merkel was pressing for Schäuble to take up the position;[17][29] the job later went to Jeroen Dijsselbloem instead.

In the negotiations to form a coalition government following the 2013 federal elections, he led the CDU/CSU delegation in the financial policy working group; his co-chair from the SPD was the Mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz.[36] Between 2014 and 2015, Schäuble and Scholz again led the negotiations on overhauling the so-called solidarity surcharge on income and corporate tax (Solidaritätszuschlag) and reorganizing financial relations between Germany's federal government and the federal states.[37]

Schäuble and Angela Merkel in the German Bundestag, 2014

In a letter to the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici in late 2014, Schäuble and the finance ministers of the eurozone's other big economies – Michel Sapin of France and Pier Carlo Padoan of Italy – urged the European Commission to draw up EU-wide laws to curb corporate tax avoidance and prevent member states from offering lower taxes to attract investors, calling for a comprehensive anti-BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) directive for member states to adopt by the end of 2015.[38]

On Schäuble's initiative, Germany became a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.[39] At a 2015 meeting of the G-20 major economies, he called for better integration of Islamic finance into the international financial system.[40]

When Federal President Joachim Gauck announced in June 2016 that he would not stand for reelection, Schäuble was soon mentioned by German and international media as likely successor;[41][42] the post eventually went to Frank-Walter Steinmeier instead.[43]

From late 2016, Schäuble served as member of the German government's cabinet committee on Brexit at which ministers discuss organizational and structural issues related to the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union.[44]

President of the Bundestag, 2017–2021 Edit

Following the 2017 elections, Schäuble was persuaded to step down as Minister of Finance.[43] He was nominated by the majority CDU/CSU parliamentary group as the next president of the Bundestag, succeeding Norbert Lammert.[45] In his capacity as president, he chairs the parliament's Council of Elders, which – among other duties – determines daily legislative agenda items and assigns committee chairpersons based on party representation.

As Bundestag President, Schäuble worked to curb the antics of the far-right Alternative for Germany, the largest opposition party in the Bundestag.[43]

As the country's second-highest-ranking official, Schäuble represented Germany at the funeral of U.S. Senator John McCain in 2018.[46]

Ahead of the Christian Democrats' leadership election in 2018, Schäuble publicly endorsed Friedrich Merz to succeed Angela Merkel as the party's chair.[47]

Following the 2021 German federal election, the SPD became the largest party in the Bundestag. By convention, the largest party gets to choose the President. The SPD nominated Bärbel Bas, who was elected during the opening session of the 20th Bundestag. Schäuble remains Member of the Bundestag. Since he is the longest-serving Member of the Bundestag, it was his task to oversee the opening session of the new Bundestag, including the election of his successor.

Political views Edit

European integration Edit

Echoing earlier proposals made by Prime Minister Édouard Balladur of France, Schäuble and fellow lawmaker Karl Lamers in 1994 urged the European Union to adopt a policy they called "variable geometry" under which five countries most committed to integration – Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg – would proceed swiftly toward monetary union, joint foreign and defense policies and other forms of integration.[48] In 2014, both reiterated their ideas in an op-ed for the Financial Times, renewing their call for a core group of European Union countries to move ahead faster with economic and political integration.[49] Countries such as Britain should put forward proposals for returning some competences to national governments, they said, while "the EU should focus mainly on the following areas: a fair and open internal market; trade; currency and financial markets; climate, environment and energy; and foreign and security policy."[50] Also, they proposed the establishment of a European budget commissioner with powers to reject national budgets if they do not correspond to the jointly agreed rules and a "eurozone parliament" comprising the MEPs of eurozone countries to strengthen the democratic legitimacy of decisions affecting the single currency bloc.[50]

On 21 November 2011 Schäuble said the euro would emerge stronger from the current crisis, and ultimately all non-members would be convinced to sign up. He said Great Britain would eventually join the euro (but that he respected Britain's decision to keep the pound).[51] On a British exit from the EU, Schäuble argued in 2014 that Britain's EU membership was particularly important for Germany as both countries share a market-oriented reform approach in many economic and regulatory questions.[52]

In 2015, then-Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis of Greece called Schäuble "the intellectual force behind the project of European Monetary Union".[53]

In 2015, Schäuble raised the idea of stripping the European Commission of regulatory powers, expressing concern over its neutrality and willingness to fulfil its role as "guardian of the treaties", in particular with regard to the enforcement of rules on budget discipline; unnamed diplomats were cited by Reuters as stating that this was not incompatible with his reputation as "a veteran pro-European who has long favored turning the Commission over time into a European 'government'".[54][55] Following the Brexit in 2016, Schäuble urged Member States to be more pragmatic and take an intergovernmental approach to solving problems.[56]

Foreign policy Edit

Schäuble is considered a "committed transatlanticist".[57] On 7 June 2011, he was among the guests invited to the state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama in honor of Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.[58]

In 2002, shortly before the Iraq War, Schäuble accused German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of "strengthening Saddam Hussein" by undermining the unanimity of international pressure on Iraq to open up to United Nations weapons inspectors.[59] On Schröder's initiative to join forces with President Jacques Chirac of France and President Vladimir Putin of Russia in opposing the war, Schäuble commented: "This triangular relationship involving Berlin, Paris and Moscow was a dangerous development. It was very dangerous for the small countries in Europe because they perceived it as an axis and you can understand why. We want good relations with Russia but we do not want those relations to be misunderstood."[60] Schäuble, in contrast to many German politicians, subsequently defended the United States' decision to invade Iraq. By 2006, he said he thought the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was in itself correct, but that he was "doubtful" from the outset about the Iraq war because it resulted from a unilateral decision by the US.[61]

Schäuble accused Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of lacking an appropriate historical conscience, because he accepted alleged human rights violations by the Russian government without criticism. On 31 March 2014, Schäuble compared the annexation of the Sudetenland by Nazi Germany in 1938 to the annexation of Crimea by Russia in the 2014 Crimean crisis. Similar to Vladimir Putin, Adolf Hitler had claimed that "ethnic Germans" in peripheral regions of what was then Czechoslovakia required protection.[62]

Domestic policy Edit

In 1999 Schäuble initiated a CDU/CSU petition campaign against the reform of German nationality law under the slogan "Integration: yes – double citizenship: no". In response to anti-immigrant rallies in the eastern city of Dresden in late 2014, Schäuble said that immigration is good for Germany and politicians must explain better that everyone stands to gain from it; at the time, the number of asylum seekers in Germany, many from Syria, had more than doubled within a year to around 200,000, and net immigration was at its highest level in two decades. "Just as we used millions of refugees and expellees after World War Two to rebuild ... so we need immigration today", Schäuble told Bild when asked about the popularity of anti-immigration policies.[63] Also, he held that "people are right to fear Islamist terrorism. But not Islam."[63] In September 2015, he urged the Member States of the European Union to quickly establish a common European asylum law.[64]

Schäuble was among the high-ranking guests attending the re-opening of Rykestrasse Synagogue, Germany's largest synagogue, in September 2007.[65] In May 2008, he banned two right-wing organizations he described as "reservoirs of organized Holocaust deniers".[66] In 2009, he also banned the Homeland-Faithful German Youth (HDJ), a far-right group, on grounds that it organizes seemingly harmless activities, such as holiday activities, to promote racist and Nazi ideology among children and young people.[67]

Between 2015 and 2016, Schäuble and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which manages aid to Holocaust survivors, negotiated a budget of some $500 million, the largest one-time increase in homecare funding for survivors the organization has ever secured.[68]

Schäuble had long been considered one of several prominent conservatives who are in favor of shifting the CDU's restrictive stance on gay marriage.[69] In June 2017, however, he voted against Germany's introduction of same-sex marriage.[70]

Domestic security Edit

Schäuble has been calling for more muscular policies to combat terrorism since he joined the first Merkel government in 2005.[71] Shortly after he assumed the position of Minister of the Interior, the 2006 German train bombing plot became the closest Germany is known to have come to a large-scale terrorist attack since 11 September 2001, and Schäuble publicly stated the country escaped that one only through luck.[71]

As a consequence of the terrorism threats, Schäuble proposed several controversial measures. Ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, he repeatedly advocated for amending the constitution to allow the military's use for domestic security purposes.[72] Among the methods that he believed Germans should at least debate are preventive detention of people suspected of terrorist activities and assassinations of the leaders of terrorist organizations.[71] In March 2007, Schäuble said in an interview that the application of presumption of innocence should not be relevant for the authorization of counter-terrorist operations.[73]

Later that same year Schäuble proposed the introduction of legislation that would allow the German federal government to carry out targeted killing of terrorists, as well as outlaw the use of the Internet and cell phones for people suspected of being terrorist sympathizers.[74]

On 27 February 2008, he called on all European newspapers to print the Muhammad cartoons with the explanation: "We also think they're pathetic, but the use of press freedom is no reason to resort to violence."[75]

In July 2009, Schäuble said in an interview that Berlin would have to "clarify whether our constitutional state is sufficient for confronting new threats".[76][77] He said that the legal problems his office had to struggle with "extend all the way to extreme cases such as so-called targeted killing ... Imagine someone knew what cave Osama bin Laden is sitting in. A remote-controlled missile could then be fired in order to kill him."[76][77] The interviewer said: "Germany's federal government would probably send a public prosecutor there first, to arrest bin Laden."[76][77] Schäuble responded: "And the Americans would execute him with a missile, and most people would say: 'thank God'."[76][77]

In the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris on the offices of satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in January 2015, Schäuble and his French counterpart Michel Sapin wrote a letter to the European Commission, calling for continent-wide legislation to better trace financial flows and freeze the assets of terrorists living in the European Union.[78]

Criticism Edit

CDU Corruption Scandal (the 'Black Money Affair') Edit

Schäuble was forced to resign from the Bundestag in the CDU Donations scandal, known in German as the Schwarzgeldaffäre (the 'Black Money Affair'). Schäuble admitted to accepting DM100,000 (£40,000) in cash from, Karlheinz Schreiber, an arms dealer and convicted criminal.[79][80]

Law and order politics Edit

Criticism of Schäuble centers on his law and order politics during his second term as Federal Minister of the Interior, especially in the field of counter-terrorism, for which he has been criticised by some civil rights activists. Vocal opponents include the open-source software community.[5] The latest decisions of his ministry have led to a campaign dubbed Stasi 2.0 by its initiators, claiming intentional resemblance to the East German Ministerium für Staatssicherheit.[81]

Controversy was sparked by Schäuble's recommendation in a 2007 interview of a book by Otto Depenheuer, who defended the Guantanamo Bay detention camp as a "legally permissible response in the fight of constitutional civilisation against the barbarity of terrorism".[82]

As a protest against his support for the increasing use of biometric data, the hacker group Chaos Computer Club published one of Schäuble's fingerprints in the March 2008 edition of its magazine Datenschleuder. The magazine also included the print on a film that readers could use to fool fingerprint readers.[83]

In November 2008, a bill giving the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) more authority failed when some states abstained from the vote in the Bundesrat, the legislative representative of the states. Subsequently, Schäuble suggested changing Bundesrat's voting procedures to discount abstention votes from the total. Many politicians of the opposition criticized his proposal, and some called for his resignation.[84][85]

In February 2009, Schäuble's homepage was hacked due to a security flaw in the TYPO3 CMS and its non-secure password gewinner ("winner"). The hack consisted of a defacement that placed a large, easily visible link on his front page to the homepage of the German Working Group on Data Retention.[86]

Relations with Greece Edit

Schäuble came under criticism for his actions during the "Grexit" crisis of 2015: it was suggested by Yanis Varoufakis that Schäuble had intended to force Greece out of the Euro even before the election of the left-wing Syriza government in Greece.[87] This was confirmed by former US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in early 2014; calling Schäuble's plan "frightening," Geithner recorded that Schäuble believed a Greek exit from the Eurozone would scare other countries into line.[88] Schäuble also received extensive criticism toward his austerity recommendations from Twitter via the hashtag #ThisIsACoup.[89] Such criticism focused on the fact that Schäuble's insistence on policies of austerity was contradicted both by the empirical evidence that the policies he had insisted on had shrunk the Greek economy by 25%, a degree hitherto paralleled only in wartime, but also by reports from the IMF insisting that only massive debt relief, not further austerity, could be effective.[90][91]

Tax loopholes Edit

When a parliamentary inquiry was set up in 2017 to look into a banks dividend scandal, Schäuble had to confront public criticism that he waited too long to ban a double ownership loophole that let two parties claim ownership of the same shares and allowed both parties to claim tax rebates, causing the state to lose billions of euros in tax.[92]

Other activities (selection) Edit

Corporate boards Edit

Non-profits Edit

Recognition (selection) Edit

Honorary degrees Edit

Other honors Edit

Personal life Edit

Schäuble with his wife Ingeborg, 2007

Schäuble has been married to economist, teacher and former Welthungerhilfe chairwoman Ingeborg Hensle since 1969. They have four children:[97] three daughters Christine, Juliane and Anna, and one son Hans-Jörg. His late brother, Thomas Schäuble (1948–2013), was a former Interior Minister of Baden-Württemberg, and an executive chairman of the Baden-Württemberg state brewery Rothaus from 2004 to 2013. His son-in-law is Thomas Strobl, who currently serves as Interior Minister of Baden-Württemberg.

Schäuble and his wife lived in Gengenbach before moving to Offenburg in 2011.[98] They also have an apartment in Berlin's Grunewald district.[99][100]

When Schäuble celebrated his 70th birthday at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin in September 2012, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, delivered the keynote speeches in his honor.[101]

Assassination attempt and resulting health issues Edit

On 12 October 1990, at the age of 48 and just after reunification, Schäuble was the target of an assassination attempt by Dieter Kaufmann, who fired three shots at him after an election campaign event attended by about 300 people in Oppenau.[15][97] Kaufmann injured a bodyguard, and severely injured Schäuble's spinal cord and face.[97]

Schäuble was left paralysed from the attack and has used a wheelchair ever since. The would-be assassin was declared mentally ill by the judges, and committed to a clinic because of psychoneurosis. He was released in 2004.

Meanwhile, Schäuble returned to work within three months, even while he was still living in a rehabilitation unit, learning to manoeuvre while paralysed below the waist.[1] For his last rally in the 1990 elections, Chancellor Helmut Kohl travelled to Offenburg, where Schäuble made his first public appearance after the assassination attempt to a crowd of about 9,000.[102]

In May 2010, on his way to Brussels for an emergency meeting of European Union finance ministers, Schäuble found himself in the intensive care unit of a Belgian hospital, battling complications from an earlier operation and an allergic reaction to a new antibiotic.[103] At that point, the German news media speculated about his resignation, and even his chances of survival.[104] However, Chancellor Angela Merkel twice declined Schäuble's offer to step down during a period of ill health in 2010.[105]

Selected works Edit

Schäuble has written a number of books including

  • Der Vertrag. Wie ich über die deutsche Einheit verhandelte (The treaty: How I conducted the negotiations on German unification, 1991);
  • Und der Zukunft zugewandt (Looking to the future, 1994); Und sie bewegt sich doch (And yet it moves, 1998); Mitten im Leben (In the prime of life, 2000);
  • Scheitert der Westen? Deutschland, Die neue Weltordnung (Is the West failing? Germany and the new world order, 2003) and
  • Zukunft mit Maß. Was wir aus der Krise lernen können (Future of moderation: What we can learn from the crisis, 2009).[106]
  • 60 Jahre Grundgesetz: Verfassungsanspruch und Wirklichkeit, in: Robertson-von Trotha, Caroline Y. (ed.): 60 Jahre Grundgesetz. Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven (= Kulturwissenschaft interdisziplinär/Interdisciplinary Studies on Culture and Society, Vol. 4), Baden-Baden 2009

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d e Quentin Peel (12 March 2010), Man in the News: Wolfgang Schäuble Financial Times.
  2. ^ a b "Unification Treaty is Signed Without Reference to Nazi Era". JTA. Bonn. 4 September 1990. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Günther Krause: Wir machen aus Hausmüll Erdöl". Focus. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  4. ^ a b Kinzer, Stephen (12 October 1992). "Bonn Journal; Kohl's Protege Turns Into Kohl's Challenger". The New York Times.
  5. ^ a b "German Linux Community Boycotting LinuxTag – Slashdot". slashdot.org. 19 May 2007.
  6. ^ a b c Cecilie Rohwedder (17 February 2000), Schaeuble Resigns From CDU Posts In Hopes of Reducing Party Scandal Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ a b Troianovski, Anton; Walker, Marcus (23 May 2014). "Q&A With German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660.
  8. ^ a b Jack Ewing (12 December 2010), Germany Signals Support for Euro-Zone Members The New York Times.
  9. ^ a b Alan Cowell and Nicholas Kulish (12 October 2012), Nobel Committee Gives Peace Prize to European Union The New York Times.
  10. ^ a b Paul Taylor (4 March 2013), Jolt From Italy's Elections May Not Be Enough The New York Times.
  11. ^ a b Erik Kirschbaum and Michelle Martin (9 September 2014), No new debt for Germany in 2015, first time since 1969 Reuters.
  12. ^ Emma Anderson (27 September 2017), Schäuble to be nominated as German parliament president: report Politico Europe
  13. ^ "Kehrseite".
  14. ^ James M. Markham (14 December 1986), Kohl's Party, Eyes on Vote, Shifts to Right The New York Times.
  15. ^ a b Schmemann, Serge (13 October 1990). "German Interior Minister Is Shot at Political Rally". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  16. ^ Crown Prince's Palace: Contract Signing in a Magnificent Building. In: Sites of Unity (Haus der Geschichte), 2022.
  17. ^ a b c Ian Traynor (20 September 2012), Germany's Wolfgang Schäuble at 70 – still at heart of efforts to save eurozone The Guardian.
  18. ^ Tyler Marshall (16 November 1991), Social Democrats Tire of Losses, Try New Faces Los Angeles Times.
  19. ^ "The scandal that rocked the government of Helmut Kohl", Deutsche Welle (18 January 2010): "Schaeuble, Germany's current finance minister, insisted he had forwarded the money to the CDU's then treasurer, Brigitte Baumeister, and had nothing to do with the illegal booking of the money. Baumeister rejected the accusation, saying she had handed over the money to Schaeuble in an envelope. The allegations were never proved in court but the affair cost Schaueble his job."
  20. ^ "CDU-Spendenaffäre: "Schäuble war Mittäter"". Spiegel Online. Hamburg. 11 January 2000.
  21. ^ PM, Stefan Theil on 2/27/00 at 7:00 (27 February 2000). "Scandal Sinks Schauble". Newsweek.
  22. ^ Charles Hawley (20 October 2005), Letter from Berlin: Taming the Lions with Angela Merkel Spiegel Online.
  23. ^ Ministry Distribution in German Coalition Pact Washington Post, 10 October 2005.
  24. ^ Timot Szent-Ivanyi (25 October 2005), Gutverdiener sollen höhere Kassenbeiträge zahlen Berliner Zeitung.
  25. ^ Jack Ewing (24 January 2014), Germany's Finance Minister Praises Progress Made in Crisis Countries The New York Times.
  26. ^ Sarah Marsh (25 October 2009), New Merkel minister defends tax cuts after attacks, Reuters.
  27. ^ Alison Smale (14 October 2014), French Minister Attends German Cabinet Session The New York Times.
  28. ^ a b Quentin Peel (5 December 2010), Wolfgang Schäuble, a profile Financial Times.
  29. ^ a b Stephen Castle and Jack Ewing (16 March 2012), "The Derby for 'Mr. Euro,' and Lots of Other Top Jobs, Is Just Getting Started", The New York Times
  30. ^ Meireles, Luísa (22 October 2013). "Alemanha reage a declarações de Sócrates". Expresso. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  31. ^ Stefan Wagstyl (24 August 2016), German budget surplus swells to €18.5bn Financial Times.
  32. ^ Landon Thomas Jr. and Jack Ewing (12 February 2015), Greek Debt Standoff Awaits a Decisive Move New York Times.
  33. ^ Charlemagne. "Europe's fault lines". The Economist. Vol. 414, no. 7–13 February 2015. p. 33.
  34. ^ Patrick Donahue and Birgit Jennen (21 October 2014), "Schaeuble Says Germany's Balanced-Budget Goal Is No 'Fetish'", Bloomberg.
  35. ^ Melissa Eddy (22 May 2013), Germany Works to Ease High Youth Unemployment The New York Times.
  36. ^ Patrick Donahue (28 October 2013), Merkel Enters Concrete SPD Talks as Finance Post Looms Bloomberg News.
  37. ^ Rainer Buergin (4 March 2015), Merkel Weighs End of Reunification Tax for East Germany Bloomberg Business.
  38. ^ Gernot Heller (1 December 2014), Germany, France and Italy urge EU to write common corporate tax laws Reuters.
  39. ^ Matthias Sobolewski (17 March 2015), Schaeuble confirms Germany is a founding member of China-led AIIB bank Reuters.
  40. ^ Gernot Heller (5 September 2015), G20-Germany urges more Islamic finance integration globally Reuters.
  41. ^ Stefan Wagstyl (6 June 2016), German presidency jostling begins as Gauck prepares to quit Financial Times.
  42. ^ Kate Connolly (6 June 2016), Headache for Angela Merkel as German president Joachim Gauck steps down The Guardian.
  43. ^ a b c "The world according to Wolfgang Schäuble – POLITICO". 24 June 2021.
  44. ^ Joseph Nasr (13 January 2017), Merkel to chair first Brexit committee meeting next week Reuters.
  45. ^ Emma Anderson (27 September 2017), Schäuble to be nominated as German parliament president: report Politico Europe.
  46. ^ Florian Gathmann and Severin Weiland (29 August 2018), Verstorbener US-Senator: Schäuble vertritt Deutschland bei McCain-Trauerakt Spiegel Online.
  47. ^ Madeline Chambers (5 December 2018), Germany's Schaeuble gives valuable backing to old Merkel rival to head party Reuters.
  48. ^ Stephen Kinzer (4 September 1994), German Plan for Phased Union of Europe Provokes Controversy The New York Times.
  49. ^ Paul Taylor (1 September 2014), Twenty years on, Schaeuble pleads again for core Europe Reuters.
  50. ^ a b Karl Lamers and Wolfgang Schäuble (31 August 2014), More integration is still the right goal for Europe Financial Times.
  51. ^ Waterfield, Bruno; Hope, Christopher (18 November 2011). "Britain 'will join euro before long', says German finance minister". Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  52. ^ Stefan Wagstyl and Jeevan Vasagar (30 June 2014), German finance minister Schäuble pledges to keep UK in Europe Financial Times.
  53. ^ Jack Ewing and James Kanter (4 February 2015), E.C.B. Move Is Setback to Greece on Debt Relief New York Times.
  54. ^ Busemann, Hans-Edzard (30 July 2015). "Germany's Schaeuble wants to rebalance EU Commission's role". Reuters. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  55. ^ Vasagar, Jeevan; Spiegel, Peter; Chassany, Anne-Sylvaine (30 July 2015). "Schäuble outlines plan to limit European Commission powers". Financial Times.
  56. ^ Michelle Martin (3 July 2016), German politicians call for improvements to EU after Brexit vote Reuters.
  57. ^ TRANSCRIPT: Globalizing World Requires Transatlantic Partnership and Leadership – A Conversation With German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, 11 April 2014 Archived 19 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine Council on Foreign Relations.
  58. ^ Expected Attendees at Tonight's State Dinner Office of the First Lady of the United States, press release of 7 June 2011.
  59. ^ Stephen Erlanger (17 August 2002), U.S. Quietly Chides German For His Dissension on Iraq New York Times.
  60. ^ Judy Dempsey (26 August 2005), Merkel adviser seeks more-integrated EU International Herald Tribune.
  61. ^ War on Terror: Merkel Demands Respect for International Law Spiegel Online, 11 September 2006.
  62. ^ "Fighting Words: Schäuble Says Putin's Crimea Plans Reminiscent of Hitler", Der Spiegel, 31 March 2014
  63. ^ a b Madeline Chambers (27 December 2014), Germany needs immigration, Finance Minister says after anti-asylum rallies Reuters.
  64. ^ Michelle Martin (1 October 2015), German finance minister seeks common EU asylum law quickly -paper Reuters.
  65. ^ Anshel Pfeffer (2 September 2007), Restored Berlin synagogue opens doors Haaretz.
  66. ^ Germany launches nationwide crackdown on neo-Nazi youth group Haaretz, 9 October 2008.
  67. ^ "Germany bans group preaching Nazi ideology to children". Haaretz, 31 March 2009.
  68. ^ "Germany to Increase Aid to Holocaust Survivors Through 2018". Haaretz, 6 July 2016.
  69. ^ Charles Hawley (5 March 2013), "Campaign Conundrum: Merkel Walks a Fine Line on Gay Rights". Der Spiegel.
  70. ^ Diese Unionsabgeordneten stimmten für die Ehe für alle Die Welt, 30 June 2017.
  71. ^ a b c Mark Landler (13 July 2007), "Germans Weigh Civil Rights and Public Safety". The New York Times.
  72. ^ "Law to shoot down airliners overturned". International Herald Tribune, 15 February 2006.
  73. ^ "Schäuble will Unschuldsvermutung nicht gelten lassen".[permanent dead link], Tagesschau, 18 April 2007[dead link]
  74. ^ "German minister's proposal causes uproar", AFP (IOL), 9 July 2007.
  75. ^ "German Minister Calls on EU Press to Publish Mohammed Cartoon". DW.COM.
  76. ^ a b c d Susanne Koelbl (28 July 2008). "Terrorism Interview with German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble: 'We Could Be Struck at Anytime'". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  77. ^ a b c d "Schäuble in Trouble: Interior Minister in Crisis Over 'Targeted Killings' Remark". Der Spiegel. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  78. ^ Harriet Torry (31 March 2015), Germany, France Urge EU to Clamp Down on Terrorist Financing Wall Street Journal.
  79. ^ "BBC News | EUROPE | German sleaze: The story so far". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  80. ^ "Standoff between Schauble and Kohl as scandal net widens". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  81. ^ Georg Löwisch (9 November 2007). "Protestsymbolschöpfer: Der Mann hinter der Schäublone". taz.de.
  82. ^ Gunter Hofmann (9 August 2007). "Schäubles Nachtlektüre". Die Zeit issue 33/2007 (in German). Hamburg. p. 7. Retrieved 29 December 2007.[permanent dead link]
  83. ^ CCC publishes fingerprints of Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Home Secretary Archived 15 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Heise Online, 31 March 2008, Retrieved 16 December 2010
  84. ^ ddp/ks (21 November 2008). "Schäubles vorschlag stößt auf Welle der Empörung". Welt Online (in German). Retrieved 22 November 2008.
  85. ^ "Schäuble erntet Fassungslosigkeit". Tagesschau (in German).
  86. ^ "Typo3 hack on German Interior Minister's web site". Heise Online.
  87. ^ "Dr Schäuble's Plan for Europe: Do Europeans approve? – Article to appear in Die Zeit on Thursday 16th July 2015 – Yanis Varoufakis". Yanis Varoufakis. 13 July 2015.
  88. ^ "Timothy Geithner reveals Schauble's plan to kick Greece out of the euro and 'terrify' the rest of Europe". thepressproject.gr. 14 May 2014.
  89. ^ "#ThisIsACoup: Germany faces backlash over tough Greece bailout demands". The Guardian. 12 July 2015.
  90. ^ "How bad is Greece's economy? These charts will tell you". Slate Magazine. 18 February 2015.
  91. ^ Larry Elliott (14 July 2015). "Athens to vote as IMF warns Greece needs extra debt relief above bailout". The Guardian.
  92. ^ Matthias Sobolewski (16 February 2017), Schaeuble defends himself, regulator over banks dividend scandal Reuters.
  93. ^ Board of Governors Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  94. ^ Board of Trustees Deutsches Museum.
  95. ^ WM-Kuratorium unter Vorsitz von Dr. Thomas Bach FIFA, press release of 30 September 2008.
  96. ^ Ondruskova, Iveta (17 May 2012). "Schäuble receives Charlemagne Prize". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  97. ^ a b c Ray Moseley (13 October 1990). "German Cabinet Member Shot, Seriously Wounded By Attacker". Chicago Tribune. Berlin. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  98. ^ Ralf Burgmaier (26 December 2010) Henco-Areal: Wolfgang Schäubles Umzug nach Offenburg rückt näher Badische Zeitung.
  99. ^ René Pfister (22 May 2010), Der Feind in ihm Der Spiegel.
  100. ^ Alexander Dinger (13 July 2018) [1] Berliner Morgenpost.
  101. ^ Jack Ewing (17 April 2013), Euro Zone Crisis Has Increased I.M.F.'s Power The New York Times.
  102. ^ Serge Schmemann (1 December 1990), Kohl, Dominating Campaign, Acts as if He's Already Won The New York Times.
  103. ^ Quentin Peel (19 May 2010), Schäuble interview: Berlin's strictures Financial Times.
  104. ^ Nicholas Kulish and Jack Ewing (18 November 2011), Seeing in Crisis the Last Best Chance to Unite Europe The New York Times.
  105. ^ Rainer Buergin and Birgit Jennen (20 September 2013), Schaeuble Seen Keeping Finance Post Even in SPD Coalition Bloomberg News.
  106. ^ Speakers: Wolfgang Schäuble Brussels Economic Forum, 18 May 2011.

External links Edit

Political offices
Preceded by Chief of the Chancellery
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Special Affairs
Preceded by Minister of the Interior
Preceded by Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Bundestag
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the CDU/CSU Group in the Bundestag
Succeeded by
Preceded by Leader of the Christian Democratic Union
Succeeded by
Preceded by Laureate of the Charlemagne Prize
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Father of the Bundestag