Angela Merkel has given the job of health minister to her biggest critic, Jens Spahn, and according to a report by Reuters, Spahn does not intend to stop being the “anti-Merkel”; he will work toward a “rightward shift in the party once he becomes health minister.”
Amid growing protests against migration in Germany, Spahn is notorious for being vociferously against Merkel’s open door migration policy, stating:
Some men “in an Islamic society have to grow a beard….but homosexuals like me are thrown from a tower.”
The LGBTQ community has not collectively protested against the human rights abuses being committed against their own communities, nor against routine hate preaching by Islamic clerics against them. But Spahn is different.
Among Spahn’s other views:
He supports a burqa ban, and has “called for an ‘Islam law’ to regulate Muslim religious institutions in Germany and make their messages more transparent.”
Some German media pundits have speculated that Angela Merkel’s decision to place Spahn as health minister was made in the hope of silencing him or appeasing her detractors from within the CDU.
Her reason(s) may backfire to the benefit of Germany, since Spahn “has never concealed his ambition to become chancellor one day. Achieving a ministerial post at the age of 37 could put him firmly on the path to power.”
“’Anti-Merkel’ propelled to frontline of German politics”, by Guy Chazan, Financial Times, February 26, 2018:
Jens Spahn sealed his reputation as Germany’s “Anti-Merkel” with an act of almost breathtaking insubordination.
Mr Spahn was the ambitious young rebel who orchestrated a vote at the CDU party conference in 2016 to limit strictly dual citizenship in Germany — in defiance of the wishes of Angela Merkel, chancellor and CDU leader. A shaken Ms Merkel later insisted there would be no change to policy, despite the vote.
But the incident shone a spotlight on the growing influence of a coterie of bright young conservatives who were increasingly unhappy with Ms Merkel’s leadership, and the ambitious MP who was their figurehead.
Some thought the rebellion would stop Mr Spahn’s career in its tracks. But on Sunday Ms Merkel gave him the job of health minister in her new government, bringing one of her most vocal critics into the front ranks of the German cabinet.
For the openly gay Mr Spahn, who married his partner, the journalist Daniel Funke, shortly before Christmas, this could be just the start. He has never concealed his ambition to become chancellor one day. Achieving a ministerial post at the age of 37 could put him firmly on the path to power.
“I think he’ll be in pole position when the post-Merkel era begins,” says Olav Gutting, a CDU MP.
Mr Spahn grew up in the village of Ottenstein, near the Dutch border, and trained as a banker, later working in a mortgage bank in the nearby city of Münster. He joined the Christian Democrats as a teenager and quickly got involved in local politics, serving as a town councillor in Ahaus for 10 years.
In 2002 he was elected to the Bundestag, where he became his party’s expert on health policy. Ten years later he forced his way into the CDU presidium, the party executive, over the objections of his regional party association, which backed another candidate. In 2015 he was appointed deputy finance minister.
It was around this time that Mr Spahn first came to national prominence. Ms Merkel had made the controversial decision to keep Germany’s borders open and let in hundreds of thousands of refugees. Days later, Mr Spahn said public support for the move was ebbing “by the hour”. Within weeks he had emerged as the most strident internal opponent of the chancellor’s “refugees welcome” policy.
“Even leftwing volunteer refugee helpers want to see immigration brought under control, and don’t want the aid we offer refugees to be abused,” he told reporters in November.
His scepticism about the migrant influx quickly evolved into an all-out attack on Islam, an attack he frequently linked to his sexuality. The arrival of so many Muslims meant that “German society risks becoming more anti-Semitic, homophobic, more macho and violent than it’s been up till now,” he said last year.
Some men “in an Islamic society have to grow a beard,” he told Die Welt last year. “But homosexuals like me are thrown from a tower.”….