Opposition leader Steinmeier recovering after donating kidney to wife | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 25.08.2010
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Opposition leader Steinmeier recovering after donating kidney to wife

The leader of Germany's Social Democrats' parliamentary group, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is doing well after a successful operation to transplant one of his kidneys to his wife.

SPD leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Steinmeier has taken several weeks off to recover from the surgery

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, leader of Germany's Social Democrats is recovering after a successful operation to donate a kidney to his wife on Tuesday.

"I've talked to the doctors and can say that the operation yesterday went well," said Steinmeier's spokesman Hannes Schwarz. "Both are making satisfactory progress."

Steinmeier announced on Monday that he would be taking off several weeks from politics to help his seriously ill wife, Elke Buedenbender.

At a press conference in Berlin on Monday, Steinmeier said Buedenbender has suffered from severe kidney problems for years and that her condition had worsened in recent weeks.

The two were married in 1995 and have a teenage daughter.

Steinmeier was Germany's foreign minister from 2005 to 2009 under Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of the coalition government of the SPD and the conservative Christian Democrats. He ran against her for the chancellery in last year's elections.

Steinmeier's deputy, Joachim Poss, has taken over his duties during his absence.

Author: Holly Fox (AP/dpa)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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