New German Defense Minister to Replace Von der Leyen

Merkel Sitting Again For 2nd Time Since Latest Shaking Episode                REUTERS  FABRIZIO BENSCH

Merkel Sitting Again For 2nd Time Since Latest Shaking Episode REUTERS FABRIZIO BENSCH

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, best known to Germans as "AKK", will be appointed on Wednesday during a handover in Berlin with her predecessor von der Leyen and the first vice president of the Bundesrat upper house, which confirmed the news in a statement.

The defense ministry offers Kramp-Karrenbauer, 56, who has served as governor of Saarland state but not in the federal government, a chance to gain foreign and security policy experience.

On Monday her spokesman became as soon as forced to ship a assertion about why Mrs Merkel gave the influence a little bit of breathless one day of a talk about with to Paris.

The decision had Ms Merkel's blessing. She has concentrated so far on trying to renew the party, among other things seeking to heal divisions with conservatives who were irked by Merkel's welcoming approach to migrants in 2015 and other moves.

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Carsten Nickel, deputy director of research at consultancy Teneo, for one thinks it should be. "When such an important position, a core job in the cabinet, becomes available, then a CDU leader must step up and take responsibility, and she is doing that", said Ralph Brinkhaus, the leader of the CDU parliamentary caucus. In March, she said Germany's credibility with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners was at stake unless it raised defence spending.

The center-right German defense minister was nominated by European Union leaders earlier this month but needs support from an absolute majority of MEPs in a vote later on Tuesday to clinch the bloc's top job. It isn't yet clear who will run as the CDU's candidate for chancellor in Germany's next election.

Meanwhile, a debate among some Christian Democrats about whether Merkel should pass power to Kramp-Karrenbauer before 2021 has been fired up by bouts of shaking that the chancellor, in office since 2005, has suffered at public ceremonies in recent weeks.

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