Professor Karl Schiller - one or the most eminent and respected ministers in the West German government, today (Friday) formally quit his post as Economics and finance Minister.
Professor Karl Schiller - one or the most eminent and respected ministers in the West German government, today (Friday) formally quit his post as Economics and finance Minister. He resigned after dissenting with cabinet colleagues over measure to introduce foreign exchange controls--the climax of long-standing disagreements over financial policies and tax reforce.
As Professor Schil or left his office, Chancellor Willy Brandt told newsmen that the resignation would not cause a change in policy. He admitted that there has been differences of opinion, but refused to make detailed comments on Professor Schiller's grievances.
The new Economics Minister is former Defence Minister Helmut Schmidt. He is replaced at the Minister of Defence by former Transport and Posts Minister Georg Laben. Housing Minister Lauritz Lauritzen takes on the additional responsibility of transport and communications.
These three appointments were approved by President Gustay Heinemann today, shortly after the President had handed over the formal warrant releasing Professor Schiller from his duties.
SYNOPSIS: More trouble for West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, currently without a majority and confronted by new elections. On Friday, he told newsmen in Bonn of a cabinet reshuffle caused by the resignation of financial wizard Professor Karl Schiller, the respected Economics and Finance Minister. Despite the reshuffle--and accusations of major disagreements from Professor Schiller--Chancellor Brandt told newsmen that there would be no change in government policies.
Meanwhile, at the Presidential Palace, Professor Schiller arrived to receive the warrant releasing him from office from President Heinemann. Herr Schiller, who played a major role in bringing about West Germany's currant economic boom, resigned after opposing government moves to check the rush of foreign currency into the country.
He's replaced by former Defence Minister Helmut Schmidt, who was officially welcomed into his new office by President Heinemann on Friday.
Herr Schmidt's former post at the Defence Ministry is taken up by former Transport and Posts Minister Georg Leber. Despite the hasty reshuffle, there are fears in Bonn about the effect of Herr Schiller's departure on the economy.
Housing Minister Lauritz Laurtizen takes on the additional responsibilities of transport and communications. Chancellor Brandt has said that Professor Schiller will remain a deputy in the Bundestag. Opponens see his resignation as the final blow to Herr Brandt's government.