Germany has a new man at the helm of its economy after a forced cabinet reshuffle.
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is a 37-year old rising star in the CSU, the Bavarian branch of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU. He will take over as Economy Minister with the country in full recession. Zu Guttenberg called it a challenge he is looking to rising to with power, confidence and courage, but with both feet planted firmly on the ground. His predecessor, Michael Glos, had to force his own resignation at the weekend. It was initially rejected by his CDU party chairman but finally accepted by Merkel herself. Glos’s critics accused him of being too passive faced with the economic crisis. He did not see eye to eye with Merkel on a recovery plan; his preference for tax cuts was overruled by her plans for public investment. With elections seven months away, the enforced change of economic team is seen as a boost for Merkel’s rivals.