German defence minister backat work after 10-week break

16th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 August 2004 , BERLIN - German Defence Minister Peter Struck was back at his desk Monday morning after a 10-week break triggered by health problems, and staff said he had scheduled a visit to troops Tuesday. Struck, 61, was rushed to Berlin's university hospital Charite on 10 June after what was officially described as a fainting fit, soon after a strenuous trip to the Mideast. He spent a week in hospital. According to unofficial reports in the capital, there were indications that Struck may have suffere

16 August 2004

BERLIN - German Defence Minister Peter Struck was back at his desk Monday morning after a 10-week break triggered by health problems, and staff said he had scheduled a visit to troops Tuesday.

Struck, 61, was rushed to Berlin's university hospital Charite on 10 June after what was officially described as a fainting fit, soon after a strenuous trip to the Mideast. He spent a week in hospital.

According to unofficial reports in the capital, there were indications that Struck may have suffered a slight stroke. The pipe- smoking Social Democrat had earlier suffered two heart attacks and has had an operation on the carotid artery in his throat.

The Defence Ministry in Berlin said Struck, a Social Democrat and lawyer by training, had a busy schedule Tuesday of visits to bases throughout the country. Struck has won the loyalty of all three armed services by frequent trips to meet the troops.

Struck's office has strongly denied recent rumours that his return to his post may only be temporary and that he would be stepping down at the end of the year for health reasons.

Germany's armed forces face pressure to do more alone with the upcoming departure of some US troops from the country.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld briefed his Russian counterpart, Sergei Ivanov, on Sunday in St. Petersburg on the plans, which were to be made public by US President George W. Bush later Monday in a speech to veterans in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Senior administration officials said Bush's plan affected 70,000 or more uniformed military personnel plus 100,000 of their family members and support personnel.

The Pentagon advised German officials this year that it was thinking about removing two army divisions from Germany and replacing them with smaller training and command facilities and mobile infantry units.

German municipalities were dismayed at the loss of population, taxes and business incurred by the move.

Currently there are about 70,000 US soldiers in Germany.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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