Dane becomes Germany′s first foreign mayor | News | DW | 16.06.2019
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Dane becomes Germany's first foreign mayor

Claus Ruhe Madsen has now become the first non-German citizen to govern a German city after being elected mayor of Rostock. The Danish national presented himself as pragmatic and environmentally conscious.

Claus Ruhe Madsen (picture.alliance/dpa/B. Wüstneck)

Madsen made Germany his home more than 25 years ago

Danish national Claus Ruhe Madsen on Sunday won an election runoff to become mayor of the northern German city of Rostock, the first foreigner to secure the post.

Madsen, an independent, claimed about 57% of the vote, beating Steffen Bockhahn of the far-left Linke with around 43%.

The 46-year-old's candidacy was supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), who did not field their own candidates.

Madsen beat off competition from seven other first-round applicants for the position, which became vacant as a result of incumbent Roland Methling's retirement.

Read more: German man pretends his dog is a sheep to save taxes

Originally from Copenhagen, Madsen has been living in Germany since 1992 and moved to Rostock about seven years after that. 

Before taking on the mayoralty, he was president of Rostock's Chamber of Industry and Commerce for six years while, at the same time, managing five furniture stores.

Madsen's wife will run the businesses during his 7-year term.

Rostock lies on Germany's Baltic Sea coast, 170 kilometers (106 miles) northeast of Hamburg, and has a population of 210,000.

Madsen's win comes on the same day that voters in the eastern city of Görlitz rejected the Alternative for Germany (AfD) candidate for mayor, Sebastian Wippel, despite fears the far-right, anti-immigration party had strengthened its support in the border area with Poland.

mm/jm (dpa, AFP)

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