Thuringia: Merz: Vogel left deep marks in Thuringia

Erfurt (dpa/th) - The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz recognized the achievements of Bernhard Vogel in the reconstruction of Thuringia after reunification.

Thuringia: Merz: Vogel left deep marks in Thuringia

Erfurt (dpa/th) - The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz recognized the achievements of Bernhard Vogel in the reconstruction of Thuringia after reunification. Vogel, who was Prime Minister of the CDU in Erfurt from 1992 to 2003, "left the deepest traces of his political life" in Thuringia. That's what Merz said on Wednesday evening at a ceremony organized by the Thuringian CDU for Vogel in the state parliament in Erfurt. Vogel celebrated his 90th birthday at the beginning of the week. He is the only politician in Germany who was prime minister in two federal states. From 1976 to 1988 he ruled in Rhineland-Palatinate.

In Thuringia, Vogel faced major challenges at the beginning of the 1990s, said Merz. It was about the reconstruction of the federal state, about a new economic start, but also about reconciliation. "The CDU has always seen itself as a party of German unity."

At the ceremony, which was attended by numerous representatives of Thuringian society, the current Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) also paid tribute to Vogel's achievements. Even before the celebration, Ramelow had called the former head of government an "exception among German politicians" and certified that he had remained authentic and modest.

Vogel, who was born in Göttingen, is still considered a mediator between West and East. He took the oath of office as prime minister seven times in Mainz and Erfurt. This makes him the German post-war politician with probably the longest tenure as prime minister. For more than 23 years he led CDU governments alone or coalitions with the FDP and SPD. Vogel himself called his time in Mainz a gamble, and that in Erfurt an adventure.

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