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Business

New Economics Minister Receives Mixed Reaction

The nomination of Michael Glos, a senior CSU official, as Germany's new economics minister is drawing praise and criticism from the business community.

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Some applaud the choice, others are skeptical

Some are calling him a friend of business. Others say he lacks experience.

Regardless, it seems that Michael Glos, a senior official of the conservative Christian Social Union, will be the next German economics minister in the incoming grand coalition government, replacing CSU party head Edmund Stoiber who backed away from the job after a shakeup in the Social Democratic Party (SPD) this week.

"I proposed to Angela Merkel that Michael Glos take the position and she agreed," Stoiber told reporters earlier this week.

''Friend of business''

The German Chamber of Commerce, employer and trade associations have welcomed the appointment, saying that Glos has proved he is a friend of business. "When he was younger, he successfully led his family business," Otto Kentzler, president of the German Confederation Of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) told the Berliner Zeitung. "And in his almost 30 years in the German parliament, he has built a strong and trustworthy relationship with the business community."

But others in that community are more skeptical, saying that Germany needs an experienced economics minister to cope with the country's structural problems.

"I know that Mr. Glos is a good organizer and very experienced politician," Anton Börner, the president of the Federation of German Wholesale and Foreign Trade (BGA), told the Berliner Zeitung. "But at the present time, I am not able to say anything about his competence in economic affairs."

The economics minister has to play in an entirely different league than the one Glos is used to in Bavaria, Börner said.

"We need a strong economics minister," he said, adding that if Glos doesn't learn how to play according to international rules, he'll have a difficult time in his new office.

Following Stoiber

Koalitionsverhandlungen - Stoiber und Müntefering

Both Stoiber and Müntefering have stepped back from cabinet posts

After the resignation of Franz Müntefering as SPD chief on Monday, Stoiber decided to withdraw from incoming Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet, saying that he believed he could be more useful to his party in Munich.

"The political situation has changed," he told reporters. "The SPD is no longer so predictable."

Müntefering resigned after a coup within the SPD which saw his candidate for party secretary rejected.



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