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Edmund Stoiber

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Edmund Stoiber

Edmund Rüdiger Stoiber (born 28 September 1941) is a German politician, former minister-president of the state of Bavaria and former chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU). On 18 January 2007, he announced his decision to step down from the posts of minister-president and party chairman by 30 September, after having been under fire in his own party for weeks.[1]

Early life

Edmund Stoiber was born in Oberaudorf in the district of Rosenheim, Bavaria. Prior to entering politics in 1974 and serving in the Bavarian parliament, he was a lawyer and worked at the University of Regensburg.

Stoiber is Roman Catholic. He is married to Karin Stoiber. They have three children: Constanze (1971), Veronica (1977), Dominic (1980) and five grandchildren: Johannes (1999), Benedikt (2001),Theresa Marie (2005), Ferdinand (2009) and another grandson (2011).

Education and profession

Stoiber attended the Ignaz-Günther-Gymnasium in Rosenheim, where he received his Abitur (high school diploma) in 1961, although he had to repeat one year for failing in Latin.[2] His national service was with the Gebirgsdivision mountain infantry division in Mittenwald and Bad Reichenhall and was cut-short due to a knee injury. Following his military service, Stoiber studied political science and then, in the fall 1962 in Munich, law. In 1967 he passed the state law exam and then worked at the University of Regensburg in criminal law and Eastern European law. He was awarded a doctorate of jurisprudence, and then in 1971 passed the second state examination with distinction.

Political career

Norbert Blüm and Edmund Stoiber in 1981

In 1978 Stoiber was elected secretary general of the CSU, a post he held until 1982/83. From 1982 to 1986 he served as deputy to the Bavarian secretary of the state and then as minister of state from 1982 to 1988. From 1988 to 1993 he served as Minister of the Interior and in May 1993, the Bavarian Landtag (parliament) elected him as minister-president succeeding Max Streibl. As such he served as President of the Bundesrat in 1995/96. In 1998, he also succeeded Theo Waigel as chairman of the CSU.

Chancellor candidacy

In 2002, Stoiber politically outmaneuvered CDU chairwoman, Angela Merkel, and was elected the CDU/CSU's candidate for the office of chancellor, challenging Gerhard Schröder.

In the run up to the 2002 election the CSU/CDU held a huge lead in the opinion polls and Stoiber famously remarked that "...this election is like a football match where it's the second half and my team is ahead by 2–0." However, on election day things had changed. The SPD had mounted a huge comeback, and the CDU/CSU was narrowly defeated (though both the SPD and CDU/CSU had 38.5% of the vote, the SPD was ahead by a small 6,000 vote margin, winning 251 seats to the CDU/CSU's 248). Gerhard Schröder was re-elected as chancellor by the parliament in a coalition with the Greens, who had increased their vote share marginally. Many commentators faulted Stoiber's reaction to the floods in eastern Germany, in the run-up to the election, as a contributory factor in his party's poor electoral result and defeat. In addition, Schröder distinguished himself from his opponent by taking an active stance against the upcoming United States-led Iraq War. His extensive campaigning on this stance was widely seen as swinging the election to the SPD in the weeks running up to the election.

Stoiber subsequently led the CSU to an absolute majority in the Bavarian_state_election_2003, for the third time in a row, winning this time 60,7% of the votes and a two-thirds majority in the Landtag.


Stoiber and Vladimir Putin

Stoiber is known for backing Vladimir Putin and there have been comparisons to Gerhard Schröder. One author called Stoiber a "Moscow's Trojan Horse".[3][4][5] Vladimir Putin is known to have given Stoiber "extreme forms of flattery" and privileges such as a private dinner at Putin's residence outside Moscow.[6]

While the conservative wing of the German political spectrum, primarily formed of the CDU and CSU, enjoys considerable support, this support tends to be less extended to Stoiber. He enjoys considerably more support in his home state of Bavaria than in the rest of Germany, where CDU chairwoman Angela Merkel is more popular. This has its reasons: Merkel supports a kind of Fiscal conservatism, but a more liberal Social policy. Stoiber, on the other hand favors a more conservative approach to both fiscal and social matters, and while this ensures him the religious vote, strongest in Bavaria, it has weakened his support at the national level.

Stoiber, as a minister in the state of Bavaria, is widely known for advocating a reduction in the number of asylum seekers Germany accepts, something that prompted critics to label him xenophobic, anti-Turkish and anti-Islam. In the late 1990s he criticized the incoming Chancellor Schröder for saying that he would work hard in the interest of Germans and people living in Germany. Stoiber's remarks drew heavy criticism in the press. He is a staunch opponent of Turkey's integration into the European Union, claiming that its non-Christian culture would dilute the Union.

During the run-up to the German general election in 2005, which was held ahead of schedule, Stoiber created controversy through a campaign speech held in the beginning of August 2005 in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. He said, "I do not accept that the East [of Germany] will again decide who will be Germany's chancellor. It cannot be allowed that the frustrated determine Germany's fate." People in the new federal states of Germany (the former German Democratic Republic) were offended by Stoiber's remarks. While the CSU attempted to portray them as "misinterpreted", Stoiber created further controversy when he claimed that "if it was like Bavaria everywhere, there wouldn't be any problems. Unfortunately, not everyone in Germany is as intelligent as in Bavaria." The tone of the comments was exacerbated by a perception by some within Germany of the state of Bavaria as "arrogant".

Many, including members of the CDU, attribute Stoiber's comments and behavior as a contributing factor to the CDU's losses in the 2005 general election. He was accused by many in the CDU/CSU of offering "half-hearted" support to Angela Merkel, with some even accusing him of being reluctant to support a female candidate from the East. (This also contrasted unfavorably with Merkel's robust support for his candidacy in the 2002 election.) He has insinuated that votes were lost because of the choice of a female candidate. He came under heavy fire for these comments from press and politicians alike, especially since he himself lost almost 10% of the Bavarian vote – a dubious feat in itself as Bavarians tend to consistently vote conservatively. Nonetheless, a poll has suggested over 9% may have voted differently if the conservative candidate was a man from the West, although this does not clearly show if such a candidate would have gained or lost votes for the conservatives.

Plan to enter federal cabinet 2005 and resignation 2007

He was slated to join Angela Merkel's first grand coalition cabinet as Economics minister. However, on 1 November 2005, he announced his decision to stay in Bavaria, due to personal changes on the SPD side of the coalition (Franz Müntefering resigned as SPD chairman) and an unsatisfactory apportionment of competences between himself and designated Science minister Annette Schavan. Stoiber also resigned his seat in the 16th Bundestag, being a member from 18 October to 8 November.

Subsequently, criticism grew in the CSU, where other polticians had to scale back their ambitions after Stoiber's decision to stay in Bavaria. On 18 January 2007, he announced his decision to stand down from the posts of minister-president and party chairman by 30 September. Günther Beckstein, then Bavarian state minister of the interior, succeeded him as minister-president and Erwin Huber as party chairman, defeating Horst Seehofer at a convention at 18 September 2007 with 58,1% of the votes. Both Beckstein and Huber resigned after the Bavarian_state_election in 2008, in which the CSU vote dropped to 43,4% and the party had to form a coalition with another party for the first time since 1966.

European Union

In February 2004 Edmund Stoiber became a candidate of Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder for the presidency of the European Commission but he decided not to run for this office. In November 2007 Edmund Stoiber accepted to direct the High Level Group of the European Union tasked with reducing European Union bureaucracy.

Outside politics

Stoiber is a keen football fan and he serves as Co-Chairman on the Advisory Board of FC Bayern Munich. Before the 2002 election FC Bayern General Manager Uli Hoeneß expressed his support for Stoiber and the CSU. Football legend, former FC Bayern President and DFB Vice-President, Franz Beckenbauer, on the other hand, showed his support for Stoiber by letting him join the German national football team on their flight home from Japan after the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

In his youth, he played for local football side BCF Wolfratshausen.[7]

Honours and awards

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ From Schröder to Stoiber? Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 132
  4. ^ Edmund Stoiber – Moscow's Trojan Horse in the Opposition Camp
  5. ^ The German Election Campaign Has Commenced. The Trumpet. 2009
  6. ^ Russia, Germany and Europe’s Future. Ron Fraser. The Trumpet. 2008
  7. ^ Das Logo zeigt den Ursprung (German) BCF website – Club history, accessed: 27 June 2009
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links

  • Official website (German)
  • Stoiber quotes (in German) (critic)
  • Stoiber and the East – Deutsche Welle
  • Parlazzo Media Awards – Nomination 2007 – 10 Minutes – 10 Minuten (in German)
Political offices
Preceded by
Max Streibl
Minister president of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Günther Beckstein
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