German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen has waved goodbye to his portfolio. It is believed he is taking the bullet for the historic defeat of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrat party in last Sunday’s regional elections.
“It is clear that the implementation of energy policy still requires a lot more effort and therefore the Federal Environment Ministry has an important role to play. And as a personal new beginning for this task, I propose the first parliamentary secretary of the CDU-CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Peter Altmaier,” explained the Chancellor.
Altmaier is considered a close ally of Merkel, who helped to push the eurozone rescue legislation through the Bundestag.
Observers say the decision is a clear move from Merkel to show who is boss.
The former Environment Minister Roettgen had been touted by some as a potential successor to the chancellor, but has now taken the fall for the worst election results in North Rhine-Westphalia since the Second World War.