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German Chancellor's Cabinet Reshuffled Again

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TEHRAN, May 13 (ICANA) – German Chancellor, Angela Merkel's cabinet was reshuffled yet again as the president appointed the former health minister Philipp Roesler as economics minister.
Friday, May 13, 2011 11:03:13 AM
German Chancellor's Cabinet Reshuffled Again

Roesler is the designated party leader of the pro-business Free Democrats, whose popularity has dropped significantly ever since becoming Merkel's junior partner in late 2009.

Roesler took over from veteran politician Rainer Bruederle, who was elected head of the party's parliamentary fraction in return.

Daniel Bahr, a 34-year-old freshman politician, took over as health minister; an unpopular and extremely difficult portfolio from where little good news could come out. The economics ministry is now to give Roesler a 'chance to shine' and appear on an international level.

For Chancellor Merkel this is not the first reshuffle of her cabinet. The first to go was labor minister Franz-Josef Jung, who had to resign over his handling of a deadly air strike in Northern Afghanistan, which happened while he was serving as defense minister.

Also, the highly popular political shooting star Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned as defense minister earlier this year after it emerged that he had plagiarized his Ph.D. thesis. Interior minister de Maiziere took over and then was replaced by Hans-Peter Friedrich.

The next to go might be foreign minister Guido Westerwelle from the Free Democrats, who led his party to a historic victory in the 2009 parliamentary elections, but was also blamed for the party's fall from grace. A federal party convent is to decide on his political future.

For Chancellor Merkel the appointment of the new ministers means a fresh start for her coalition. But it remains to be seen if the changes of discipline and leadership will calm the Free Democrats and others.

Analysts believe she is increasingly worried about the poor performance of the FDP and even doubt her government will make it through to the next federal elections in two years' time.

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