Wiesbaden – Michael Boddenberg has been sworn in as the new finance minister of Hesse. The previous CDU parliamentary group leader is the successor to Thomas Schafer (CDU), who died unexpectedly last weekend. Boddenberg is an experienced politician who comes from the middle of the people as a former master craftsman and entrepreneur, said Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) on Friday in the Hessian state parliament. “It has excellent properties that will surely be an asset to the Hessian state government.”
The police assume that the 54-year-old shepherd has committed suicide. “We are all still stunned when we think of the past weekend,” said Bouffier. However, the state government must remain able to act, especially in the Corona crisis. The finance minister and the finance ministry would play a central role in this. “Michael Boddenberg brings expertise, experience, and assertiveness to successfully master the office and tasks of the finance minister in this crisis.”
Hesse is well positioned and able to face this crisis, said Boddenberg. This is also due to the excellent work that Schafer has done as finance minister over the past decade. “I would now like to make my contribution as Minister of Finance, with my sleeves rolled up and with confidence.”
At the start of the short special session of the state parliament, the deputies had thought of the finance minister, who had suddenly died. “Thomas Schafer was not just a colleague for us, Thomas Schafer was a friend for us,” said Boris Rhein (CDU) President of the Landtag. The news of death leaves you feeling numb. “We cannot understand what happened,” said Rhein. “Going out of life in this way is not what we have known and known in some cases for decades.”
Rhein said that Schafer was always in control of the situation and acted calmly and prudently. No problem was big enough for him to tackle it. A few days before his death in the state parliament, he made a powerful speech on the supplementary budget in view of the Corona crisis, realistic and naming the problems by name, but nevertheless encouraging. “But of all people, he no longer saw any perspective, and hope had obviously left him,” said Rhein, visibly moved. Shepherd will be very missing. What remains is the memory of an exceptional personality, Rhein emphasized and wished the bereaved a lot of strength in this difficult time.
As with the previous plenary debate on March 24, the meeting was subject to stricter hygiene rules to prevent infections with the coronavirus. This includes the deputies sitting in the hall at a large distance from each other. Parliamentarians can also watch the session from adjoining rooms or from their office. The new finance minister received a bouquet of flowers. Congratulations on hugs or shaking hands were avoided.