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Viewing cable 09MUNICH273, GERMAN ELECTIONS: BAVARIA WINS BIG INFLUENCE IN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MUNICH273 2009-11-06 08:08 2010-11-28 18:06 CONFIDENTIAL Consulate Munich
VZCZCXRO0861
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMZ #0273/01 3100821
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 060821Z NOV 09
FM AMCONSUL MUNICH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4952
INFO RUCNMEU/EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 0314
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MUNICH 000273 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CE, DEPT ALSO FOR EUR/ERA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/04/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EUN GM
SUBJECT: GERMAN ELECTIONS: BAVARIA WINS BIG INFLUENCE IN 
THE NEW GERMAN GOVERNMENT 
 
REF: BERLIN 1340 
 
Classified By: CONSUL GENERAL CONRAD TRIBBLE FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D 
) 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1.  (SBU) The Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria has 
celebrated the outcome of the federal coalition negotiations, 
which awarded the party with three ministries and several 
state secretary positions. The outcome appears to have 
reinvigorated Horst Seehofer, Bavarian Minister President and 
head of the CSU, recovering from a bout with the flu and 
worse-than-expected results in the September 27 national 
elections.  Singling out newly sworn-in Defense Minister zu 
Guttenberg for praise, Seehofer expects him to compete 
successfully for world attention with new Foreign Minister 
and FDP chairman Westerwelle.  Seehofer has signaled that he 
expects to be working with the FDP for a long time.  End 
Summary. 
 
CSU Thrilled with Coalition Negotiations Results 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
2.  (SBU) "We could not be more satisfied with the outcome," 
Michael Hohenberger, a senior State Chancery contact told us 
October 28, adding that "even with a better election result 
the CSU could hardly have emerged stronger in the new 
cabinet."  Although some Bavarian observers have deplored the 
fact that the CSU lost ministerial posts in financial and 
economic affairs at the Federal level, all agree that having 
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg as Defense Minister is a very 
positive development.  A CSU party senior advisor, Christian 
Kattner, told us privately on the same day that he could 
"understand Chancellor Merkel's point in giving the Finance 
Ministry at this difficult time to an experienced man like 
(former Interior Minister) Wolfgang Schaeuble (Christian 
Democratic Union ) CDU) rather than to a young man at the 
beginning of his political career." 
3.  (C) Kattner insisted that the CSU had left its mark with 
regard to substance.  M-P Seehofer had promised tax cuts, 
which are now in the works, and aid measures for farmers, for 
which he obtained an agreement on public aid amounting to 700 
million Euros.  The CDU/CSU stood united in rejecting FDP 
demands they considered too business friendly at the expense 
of social justice concerns, he said.  Bavarian Justice 
Minister Merk, who at the beginning of the coalition 
negotiations expressed concerns about FDP "weaknesses" on 
internal security and counterterrorism, told the CG October 
27 that "she was very comfortable with the results." 
Strong CSU Bavarian Line-Up in Berlin 
------------------------------------- 
 
4.  (SBU) As for the Cabinet, in addition to zu Guttenberg at 
Defense, there is Peter Ramsauer heading the Transportation 
Ministry, where he will have national influence and a huge 
budget.  Ilse Aigner (CSU) remains Minister of Agriculture. 
Five of the the parliamentarian State Secretaries are 
Bavarian, four from the CSU r and one from the FDP.  This 
gives the CSU and Bavaria generally important influence at 
the sub-Cabinet level and sets up influential and direct 
Bavarian connections between the Bundestag and Cabinet.  In 
the Defense Ministry, well-respected Christian Schmidt 
retained his position, as did Gerd Mueller in Agriculture. 
Hartmut Koschyk moves to the Finance Ministry, providing the 
CSU with important direct influence with Minister Schaeuble. 
The 35-year old Andreas Scheuer from Passau will assist Peter 
Ramsauer at the Transportation Ministry.  The fifth Bavarian 
is Max Stadler (FDP), who will support Sabine 
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) at the Justice Ministry.  A 
well-respected lawyer from Passau, Stadler is an excellent 
choice and a real legal expert with American experience as a 
1993 International Visitor Program alumnus. 
Seehofer Expects Long-Term Cooperation with FDP 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
5.  (SBU) At the CSU party convention on October 26, where 
the coalition agreement was approved, MP Seehofer made clear 
that the CSU,s main rival will now be the FDP, "which no 
longer is a small party but clearly intends to become a 
people,s party," he said, predicting "they will be targeting 
the same voters as the CSU."  The CSU, he added, will have to 
act as the guardian of the little people "to ensure that 
 
MUNICH 00000273  002 OF 002 
 
 
social justice prevails."  Later, upon signing the coalition 
agreement in Berlin, Seehofer indicated that he intends to 
remain in the CSU leadership.  Noting that this was the 
second time he had signed an agreement with the FDP, 
following the agreement in Bavaria one year earlier, he said 
he might be able to do the same again for the third and 
fourth time in 2013.  The media jumped on this statement 
since it insinuated that Seehofer had given up hope of  the 
CSU regaining its absolute majority in the 2013 Bavarian 
state elections.  "This statement might come back to haunt 
him," one journalist commented. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
6.  (C) Bavarian leaders are strong at home and in Berlin. 
Contrary to media speculation, Horst Seehofer remains 
uncontested as CSU chairman and Bavarian Minister-President. 
Our contacts in the party, State Chancery and CSU caucus 
unanimously rejected speculation about an imminent revolt 
against his leadership, although several acknowledge there 
will be discussions of a possible change in 2011 in 
preparation for the next Bavarian election in 2013.  In the 
capital, Defense Minister zu Guttenberg will be a serious 
competitor to Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on the 
diplomatic parquet.  In foreign and security affairs, zu 
Guttenberg is better connected in Washington, fluent in 
English, and more experienced in the key issues.  Moreover, 
his good relations with the USG, which started in Bavaria, 
extend beyond the Department of State to the Department of 
Defense and Congress, notably through the vehicle of the 
annual Munich Security Conference (next iteration February 
5-7, 2010), where he is a regular and prominent organizer and 
participant. 
TRIBBLE