BERLIN – ‘New blood’ for the Grand Coalition?

The head of the Christian Social Union (CSU) and Minister-President of Bavaria, Markus Söder, called for a cabinet reshuffle on Monday (6 January). He told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag ‘that we should rejuvenate and renew the government team by the middle of the year” and wants “new and fresh forces” to take on matters related to business and innovation. According to him, this would ensure Germany could better face competition from the US and China.

The suggestion was met with caution by German Chancellor Angela Merkel but backed by CDU party chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. But what would it mean for the stability of the Grand Coalition as a whole?

The head of the Christian Social Union (CSU) and Minister-President of Bavaria, Markus Söder’s comments on reshuffling the cabinet caused quite a stir, shocking both his political friends and foes, some of which expressed fears of the Grand Coalition’s potential destabilisation. Although he has been backed by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, which made headlines, it appears that his suggestion would also need the support of Merkel, as well as the recently elected party leaders, Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Eskens.

With their backing, he could change the leadership of all the ministries and propose that the ministers in charge of the economy, Peter Altmaier, and science and innovation, Anja Karliczek, be replaced. For the moment, he would only be able to change the leadership of ministries under CSU control, for which he has not expressed any interest.

(Sarah Lawton |

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