Merkel dismisses environment minister

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed her Environmental Minister, Norbert Röttgen.

AFP reports that in an unusual, hastily arranged statement on national television, Merkel said she had spoken to President Joachim Gauck “to ask him to release Norbert Roettgen from his functions as environment minister to allow a change in personnel”.

Angela Merkel and Norbert Rottgen

She added that Germany’s “Energiewende” policy, the term used to describe both the end of nuclear power and the promotion of renewable energy sources, was a key plan for this legislative period, but that work remained to be done.

Roettgen was criticized for failure to form a consensus amongst coalition parties to enable changes on the renewable energy act pass through the Upper House last week.

More crucially Röttgen led the conservative party in the election last Sunday in North Rhine-Westphalia and thus was made responsible for the big losses the party suffered there.

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