Merkel Ally Altmaier Reported as Schaeuble's Interim Replacement

  • Chancellor to keep finance ministry on short leash: newspaper
  • German election outcome forcing shift at key department

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is proposing her chief of staff to replace Wolfgang Schaeuble as finance minister during a transition period as she puts together her next government, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.

With Schaeuble slated to be elected president of Germany’s lower house on Oct. 24, Peter Altmaier, a Christian Democrat and one of Merkel’s top political fixers, will fill in at the Finance Ministry as coalition talks are expected to drag on beyond that date, the newspaper said in its Friday edition. Merkel wants Altmaier to serve as a strong link to the chancellery, including on euro policy, according to Sueddeutsche. The ministry in Berlin didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

For a detailed look at possible Schaeuble successors, click here.

Germany’s splintering political landscape left Merkel with only one obvious coalition possibility for now, a four-party alliance of her Christian Democratic Union, its Bavarian Christian Social Union sister party, the Free Democratic Party and the Greens.

With Schaeuble, 75, ready to move on after eight years as finance minister, Merkel’s task of granting her prospective partners influential ministries may become easier. The FDP is claiming the Finance Ministry and the Greens have signaled interest in the Foreign Ministry.

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