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Peer Steinbrück

In office
22 November 2005 – 27 October 2009
Preceded by Hans Eichel
Succeeded by Wolfgang Schäuble

In office
November 6, 2002 – June 24, 2005
Preceded by Wolfgang Clement
Succeeded by Jürgen Rüttgers

Finance minister of North Rhine-Westphalia
In office
February 22, 2000 – November 6, 2002
Preceded by Heinz Schleußer
Succeeded by Jochen Dieckmann

Minister of Economy of North Rhine-Westphalia
In office
October 28, 1998 – February 21, 2000
Preceded by Bodo Hombach
Succeeded by Ernst Schwanhold

Minister of Economy of Schleswig-Holstein
In office
May 19, 1993 – October 28, 1998
Preceded by Uwe Thomas
Succeeded by Horst Günter Bülck

Born January 10, 1947 (1947-01-10) (age 63)
Hamburg, Germany
Nationality  Germany
Political party Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
Alma mater University of Kiel
Profession Economist (Diplom)

Peer Steinbrück (born January 10, 1947 in Hamburg) is a German social democratic politician. From 2005 to 2009 he served as German Federal Minister of Finance in the cabinet of Angela Merkel.


Early political career, Minister President

After having been trained as an officer of the reserve of the Bundeswehr, Steinbrück studied economics in Kiel. He graduated in 1974.

After graduation Steinbrück worked for several German ministies and, from 1978 to 1981, in the office of then German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. In the 1980s, Steinbrück was Chief of Staff to the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Johannes Rau.

In 1993, he became Minister of Economy and Infrastructure in the State of Schleswig-Holstein. He then returned to North Rhine-Westphalia, where he became Minister of Economy and Infrastructure in 1998 and Finance Minister in 2000.

From 2002 to 2005, Peer Steinbrück served as Minister President (Ministerpräsident) of North Rhine-Westphalia. He headed a coalition government between the SPD and the Green Party.

In the state election on May 22, 2005 Steinbrück´s SPD lost to the Christian democratic (CDU) opposition. This loss also had consequences for federal politics: then German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who already was enfeebled by weak opinion polls and criticism within his own party, announced to call for an early federal election for the Bundestag. This ultimately resulted in the German federal election, 2005.

German Finance Minister

After the 2005 Bundestag election, SPD and CDU formed a grand coalition under the leadership of new Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). Peer Steinbrück became finance minister of Germany. Since 2005, he also has been deputy chairman of the SPD. He is generally considered a member of the more conservative wing of the party.

In December 2008, Steinbrück controversially attacked the British Keynesian approach to economic policy in an interview with Newsweek.[1] He raised scepticism about the effectiveness of large fiscal stimulus packages and criticised the resulting increase in public debt.

Steinbrück also was a sharp critic of the Swiss banking secrecy, which in 2009 caused some tensions between Germany and Switzerland.[2]

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
Wolfgang Clement
Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia
Succeeded by
Jürgen Rüttgers
Preceded by
Hans Eichel
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Wolfgang Schäuble

Simple English

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