Published: Thu, July 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Kramp-Karrenbauer takes over as defence minister in Germany

Kramp-Karrenbauer takes over as defence minister in Germany

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, widely known in Germany as AKK, formally took over the role during a ceremony on Wednesday, a day after MEPs narrowly backed Von der Leyen's nomination, and will swear her oath of office in the Bundestag next week.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, defense politician for the German liberal FDP, said that Kramp-Karrenbauer's credibility as defense minister was damaged right from the start. "She will serve in one of the most challenging posts but has won the opportunity to grow beyond party politicking and gain stature in European and global politics", he said.

But Kramp-Karrenbauer, 56, whose governing experience is limited to a stint as premier of the tiny state of Saarland, promised earlier this month to stay out of government, saying "there is enough to do in the CDU".

Meanwhile, Dr Merkel marked her 65th birthday on Wednesday (July 17) but she is not expected to make much of the milestone.

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Originally thought likely to go to the ambitious young health minister, Jens Spahn, the defence job has been labelled "the ejector seat" of German politics, after derailing the careers of several ministers who have held it. In March, she said Germany's credibility with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners was at stake unless it raised defence spending.

But artists have also taken a critical look at her political choices - especially in the debate over Germany's handling of the European Union financial crisis and the imposition of harsh austerity measures in countries like Greece.

She has suffered three bouts of shaking while standing at ceremonies, and remained seated last week as national anthems were played during a ceremony with Denmark's PM. Articles appear on for a limited time.

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