"Making the arsonists the firefighters" is how one opposition politician described the appointment. A member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives has also raised an eyebrow at the decision.
A top Goldman Sachs investment banker is set to become a deputy finance minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel's new coalition government.
Politicians from across the political spectrum, including Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), immediately criticized the appointment.
Details of the appointment:
What were the reactions?
CDU budget expert Eckhardt Rehberg told German daily newspaper Passauer Neue Presse that Kukies' appointment was a "questionable decision." He added that "it raises the question whether he [Kukies] serves the interest of the federal government or his former industry."
The deputy leader of the Left Party in the German parliament, Fabio de Masi, wrote on Twitter: "Scholz is copying Trump by making the arsonists the firefighters." He added: "You may as well just let the bankers write the laws." His post included a picture of Kukies superimposed on a poster of the Hollywood film "The Wolf of Wall Street."
The Greens' finance expert in parliament, Gerhard Schick, said: "It gives an indication of the problems in the SPD when a social democrat entrusts responsibility for banking regulations to an investment banker."
Finance Minister Scholz, who was attending an economic summit in Buenos Aires, said after the announcement: "I'm happy that I've gotten together a good team."
The SPD's economic forum, a coalition of companies and trade associations, said in a statement, "the Finance Ministry is on good footing with Jörg Kukies," who it described as a "renowned international expert."
Veteran returns: The finance ministry also announced on Monday that veteran official Werner Gatzer would return as a deputy finance minister responsible for budgetary affairs. Gatzer, who will make the switch from state-owned train giant Deutsche Bahn (DB), last served in the finance ministry under former Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.
amp/rt (Reuters, dpa, AFP)