No plans to dump Eichel: Schroeder spokesman

11th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 May 2005, BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's chief spokesman on Wednesday denied reports that finance minister Hans Eichel would soon be ousted from the cabinet.

11 May 2005

BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's chief spokesman on Wednesday denied reports that finance minister Hans Eichel would soon be ousted from the cabinet.

"Eichel will remain in office - he's doing a good job," said Bela Anda, speaking at a news briefing.

The normally well-informed Bild tabloid quoted unnamed government sources and members of Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD) as saying Eichel could soon be replaced by the SPD premier of North Rhine-Westphalia state, Peer Steinbrueck.

Steinbrueck is struggling to win regional elections due to be held on 22 May. All opinion polls show he is badly trailing his opposition conservative challenger.

Bild says that, following an expected Steinbrueck defeat, Chancellor Schroeder may decide to axe Eichel amid reports of a EUR 53 billion tax revenue shortfall through 2008.

DPA

Subject: German news

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