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Germany, former Finance Minister Schaeuble dies at the age of 81 –

Germany, former Finance Minister Schaeuble dies at the age of 81 –

Wolfgang Schäuble died. The CDU politician, one of the most reliable men of the last half-century of German politics and a “hawk” who had decisively influenced the eurozone's choices since the beginning of the 2000s, died yesterday evening “peacefully” among his family members. The family announced this morning to the German News Agency (DPA).

His health condition has not been discussed publicly. However, from what the more reliable German newspapers wrote this morning, he has recently done so His appearance was very rare. A few weeks ago, he was seen again in the corridors near his office in the Reichstag. Schaeuble – who was truly seen as a giant of German conservative politics – He has been a protagonist during different stages of modern German history. He was Interior Minister and one of Helmut Kohl's most trusted men when, on October 12, 1990, a man shot him twice at close range during the election campaign, once hitting him in the spine. Since then, he lived in a wheelchair: but he soon found the strength necessary to return to political life. What is rare for German politicians is that he also spoke discreetly but openly about his unhealthy condition.

But above all, during the eurozone crisis, his name became a symbol of “austerity” and intransigence with the countries of the South.. The extreme severity and intransigence in dealing with the Greek crisis is due to some of his choices when he was Angela Merkel's finance minister. In the most dramatic moments of the crisis, he was on the verge of wanting to expel Athens from the eurozone: his declaration to that effect almost raised fears that Germany might take such positions. It was thanks to Angela Merkel's mediation skills, but also to her desire to keep Europe united – and also to the pivot with the European Central Bank, then governed by Mario Draghi – that Greece remained attached to the euro train. Because of this rigor – which was always accompanied by tremendous technical knowledge and great political skills – he was seen in many Eastern European countries as an adversary, and in the growing continental populism – he was viewed almost as an “enemy”. Titles he probably didn't mind.

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