Günther Oettinger

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Günther Oettinger (2019)

Günther Hermann Oettinger (*  15. October 1953 in Stuttgart ) is a German politician of the CDU . From 2010 to 2019 he was a member of the EU Commission , initially as Commissioner for Energy until 2014 , from 2014 to 2016 as Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society and most recently from 2017 to 2019 as Commissioner for Budget and Personnel . From 2005 to 2010 he was Prime Minister of the State of Baden-Württemberg .



Oettinger is Protestant and grew up in Ditzingen , where his father Hermann Oettinger ran a tax and management consultancy firm and was a member of the local council for the FDP. After graduating from high school in 1972 at Korntal-Münchingen , Oettinger studied law and economics at the University of Tübingen . He finished his law studies in 1978 with the first state examination in law ; He finished his studies in economics without a degree. After the second state examination in 1982, he worked for an auditor and tax advisor for two years . Since 1984 he has been working as a lawyer in an auditing and law firm, of which he has been co-owner since 1988.

Party career

In 1977 Oettinger founded a local association of the Junge Union in his hometown of Ditzingen . His membership in the so-called Andean Pact also dates from this time in the Junge Union . From 1983 to 1989 Oettinger was its state chairman in Baden-Württemberg . In 1988, Oettinger caused a stir nationwide when he called for the resignation of the then Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl . The reasons given were "his weak leadership and lack of conception" and doubts about the ability of the Union to govern under Kohl in the upcoming 1990 elections.

In 1989, Oettinger once again caused a sensation, as state chairman of the Junge Union, with the demand that motorcycling on public roads be banned for safety reasons, which he affirmed in an interview with Motorrad magazine . In an interview in 2006, he stated that the claim was “based on the impression of visiting an accident clinic” and that motorcycling was “a beautiful and delightful pastime.” Two years later - in 1991 - Oettinger had alcohol in his blood with 1.4 per mille due to driving hand in his driver's license.

From 1977 to 1985 Oettinger was the chairman of the CDU Ditzingen. In 1980 and 1981, Oettinger twice ran unsuccessfully for the office of Lord Mayor of Ditzingen. In 1980 he was defeated by the SPD candidate Volker Baehr. In the next election in December 1981, which became necessary after his death, Oettinger only received around 20 percent of the vote in the first ballot, despite the support of the CDU. In the end, the former mayor of Hirschland, Alfred Fögen , who had resigned from the CDU because of Oettinger's candidacy, was elected. In 1997, Oettinger campaigned for school uniforms in a policy paper. From 2001 to 2005 Oettinger was chairman of the CDU district association in North Württemberg. In addition, Oettinger had been chairman of the CDU's federal committee for media policy since 1999.

In March 2004 Oettinger announced his claim to the office of Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg. Minister-President Erwin Teufel announced in October 2004 that he would give up his positions as state chairman of the CDU and prime minister on April 19, 2005.

Oettinger was elected the CDU's top candidate for the 2006 state elections through a member survey, the result of which was announced on December 2, 2004. His rival, Baden-Württemberg's Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, Annette Schavan , who was favored by Erwin Teufel, announced that she would not run after the defeat in the member survey.

Oettinger was also state chairman of the CDU Baden-Württemberg from April 29, 2005 to November 20, 2009 . He was followed by Stefan Mappus , who also succeeded Oettinger as Prime Minister.

Public offices


From 1980 to 1994 Oettinger was a member of the local council in Ditzingen. From 1982 he was also chairman of the CDU parliamentary group .

From 1984 to February 5, 2010 he was a member of the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg . There he was chairman of the CDU parliamentary group from January 29, 1991 to April 21, 2005.

Oettinger was always able to assert himself as a direct candidate in the Vaihingen state electoral district - in the 2006 state elections he received 45.3% of the votes.

Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg

Günther Oettinger (2007)

On April 21, 2005, Oettinger was elected Prime Minister of the State of Baden-Württemberg by the state parliament with the votes of the CDU and FDP . In 2005, Oettinger pushed through the introduction of tuition fees at universities and vocational academies from the 2007 summer semester. In school policy, Oettinger advocated the three-tier school system with a high degree of permeability between the various school types and the comprehensive and needs-based expansion of all-day schools.

In the state elections on March 26, 2006 , the black-yellow coalition he led was able to maintain its majority, with the CDU missing an absolute majority with only one vote . On June 14, 2006, the state parliament re-elected him as Prime Minister and head of the state government with 85 votes .

In September 2006, Oettinger announced that he wanted to sell medieval manuscripts and incunabula from the holdings of the Badische Landesbibliothek in Karlsruhe to a value of up to 70 million euros in favor of the House of Baden (see article Manuscript sales by the Badische Landesbibliothek ). Scientists and scientific organizations from all over the world reacted to this project with great indignation and described it as an "unprecedented act of barbarism".

In the area of ​​public transport, Oettinger, Federal Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee and Railway Director Hartmut Mehdorn reached an agreement on July 19, 2007 in the negotiations on the new Wendlingen – Ulm line and the Stuttgart 21 project (the redesign of the Stuttgart railway junction). With an expected cost of around two billion euros for the new line, Baden-Württemberg agreed to invest a total of 950 million euros by 2016.

Oettinger resigned from his post as Prime Minister on February 10, 2010.

EU commissioner for energy

Günther Oettinger 2013

At the end of 2009, the Council of the European Union nominated Oettinger as the German member of the European Commission at the suggestion of Chancellor Angela Merkel , which was newly appointed at the beginning of 2010. Although Oettinger had hardly been active in European policy before and his nomination initially met with criticism from the Commission and the European Parliament, Commission President José Manuel Barroso assigned him the relatively important portfolio of Energy Commissioner . On February 9, 2010, the Barroso II Commission was finally confirmed by the European Parliament . In advance, Oettinger selected the senior EU official and Brussels Europe Union chairman Michael Köhler as his future head of cabinet (“chief advisor”). He officially took office on February 10, 2010. His surprisingly positive appearance at the hearing before the European Parliament has earned him the reputation of an experienced networker, both through his CDU party and the non-partisan European Union.

On July 1, 2014 Oettinger became Vice President of the Commission after Viviane Reding and Antonio Tajani moved to the European Parliament. This was accompanied by a salary increase of € 3,150. However, he only held this post until the end of the Barroso II Commission in September 2014.

During his tenure as EU Energy Commissioner, Oettinger banned the regulation that electricity and gas customers would have to pay fees for switching to another supplier. With his plan to create a European internal energy market, he failed due to the resistance of the member states and their governments, although experts see it as an opportunity to reduce the high energy costs in the EU and to make the economy more competitive. In his opinion, this should also include the disappearance of the Baltic Energy Island, because the Baltic States are 100% dependent on Russian oil and gas supplies and its energy network is not connected to that of the EU.

Oettinger had his greatest political success to date in September 2014 as EU Energy Commissioner. Through his negotiations, the gas dispute between Ukraine and Russia in the so-called Ukraine conflict was brought to an end.

EU commissioner for the digital economy

On September 10, 2014, the Commission President - designate Jean-Claude Juncker announced that Oettinger would become the EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy. For this he had to face the hearing in parliament. At his first hearing in Parliament, Oettinger commented on the nude photos of celebrities distributed by hackers in the USA: “If someone is so stupid and as a celebrity takes a nude photo of himself and posts it on the net, [you] can't expect us that we protect it. ”In fact, the photos were not freely accessible, but were stolen from password-protected cloud services that were only accessible to the owner .

EU Commissioner for Financial Planning and Budget

At the end of October 2016, EU Commission President Juncker announced that Oettinger would become Commissioner for Financial Planning and Budget at the beginning of 2017 because incumbent Kristalina Georgiewa was moving to the World Bank. His term of office as Budget Commissioner ends in December 2019 when the von der Leyen Commission takes office , of which he is no longer a member.

Further professional life

In July 2019 the magazine Der Spiegel reported that Oettinger wanted to set up his own agency in Hamburg as a consultant after leaving the EU Commission .

Other engagement

During his studies, Oettinger became a member of the striking student association Landsmannschaft Ulmia zu Tübingen .

In the summer of 2008 Günther Oettinger took over the patronage of the social project We are helping Africa for the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.

Oettinger was, following a tradition of Baden-Württemberg minister-presidents, a member of the right-wing conservative study center Weikersheim , but initially suspended his membership following criticism in the course of the "Filbinger Affair" and ended it on May 22, 2007 because membership was not related to the office of Prime Minister and the study center does not originally serve national interests.

Oettinger was a long-term member of the non-partisan European Union Germany until 2019 .

In January 2014 Günther Oettinger took over the patronage of the children's social project Circus Palace, which enables over 1,700 children and young people to visit the circus free of charge every year. At the association with each other e. V. , which is committed to projects for children and young people, has been Oettinger's patron since September 2014. Oettinger is also part of the Presidential Council of the Björn Steiger Foundation .


Günther Oettinger had been with Inken Oettinger, geb. Stange, married and has a son with her. On December 9, 2007, the Oettingers announced their separation. On November 14, 2008, he introduced Friederike Beyer, an event manager from Hamburg who was 25 years his junior and a member of the board of the “Lebendige Stadt” foundation , as his new partner to the public.

Political positions, criticism and controversy

Günther Oettinger (2009)

Acting as Prime Minister

Oettinger takes a conservative basic course and is one of the most committed advocates of nuclear energy . He repeatedly sparked controversy through controversial statements on various topics.

Filbinger funeral speech

On April 11, 2007, Oettinger caused severe public criticism with his funeral speech at the state ceremony in Freiburg Minster for the funeral of Hans Filbinger , one of his predecessors in the office of Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister, who resigned in 1978 after public pressure ( Filbinger affair ). Oettinger had stated in this speech:

“In contrast to reading some obituaries, it is important to note: Hans Filbinger was not a National Socialist. On the contrary: he was an opponent of the Nazi regime. [...] It remains to be said: There is no judgment by Hans Filbinger through which a person would have lost his life. "

Oettinger was publicly criticized for this from various sides. The playwright Rolf Hochhuth pointed out that Filbinger, as a naval staff judge, had applied for a death sentence against the deserter Walter Gröger . As a result of the verdict, Gröger was shot on March 16, 1945. The Central Council of Jews in Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced further criticism . Calls for an apology and calls for resignation were loud. Oettinger initially defended his statements in an open letter and said: "My speech was public, meant seriously, and it remains that way." He reported that he had received a lot of approval and praise. The former Baden-Württemberg Minister of Education and Finance, Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder , defended Oettinger. On April 16, Oettinger then stated that he was distancing himself from his own statements.

Statements on the subject of war

During an event organized by the Ulmia Tübingen national team on January 29, 2007, Oettinger commented on the competitive situation in Germany: “In an affluent society there is less dynamism than in the years of development after the war. We are in the incredibly beautiful position of being surrounded only by friends. The trouble is, there is no more war. In the past, wars brought about changes in pensions and national debt. Today, without an emergency, you have to do it on your own. "

"Language fan of the year"

In 2005, Oettinger was denounced as a "language sinner" by the magazine Deutsche Sprachwelt and in 2006 received the negative title " Sprachpanscher of the year " from the German Language Association . The reason for this was his statements in a SWR interview in November 2005: “English is becoming the working language. German remains the language of family and leisure time, the language in which one reads private matters. "

In October 2009, Oettinger said before the state press conference : “I am very confident in English for the interview.” In January 2010, parts of a speech given in December 2009 in Berlin at a conference at Columbia University in New York were shown in a YouTube video cut together, in which Oettinger's considerable difficulties with the pronunciation became clear. The video was accessed very often in a short period of time, but initially deleted from YouTube for copyright reasons. However, due to the virality of the Internet, the video reappeared quickly and can still be found there. The Harald Schmidt Show , TV total , extra 3 , Spiegel TV and other entertainment programs took up Oettinger's pronunciation in a satirical way. He particularly emphasized his previously expressly held view that nowadays every German must be able to speak English - even the skilled worker at the machine. The journalist and language critic Wolf Schneider described Oettinger's speech as "the cruelest thing one had to hear in English in the northern hemisphere."

Comments on private television

At a CDU New Year's reception in Markgröningen (constituency) on January 8, 2008, Oettinger said that “shit private television ” was partly to blame for the increasing propensity for violence among young people. Specifically, he named the broadcasters Super RTL and RTL II , which fought heavily against the attacks in the period that followed.

Role at Stuttgart 21

In October 2010 it became known that Oettinger's partner Friederike Beyer is a member of the executive board of an ECE foundation . ECE, a shopping center operator from Hamburg, wants to build a shopping center on the Stuttgart 21 site. Oettinger has been an advocate of the major project for years. The ECE Foundation was also criticized in connection with Stuttgart 21 because it also includes the former Baden-Württemberg Minister of Transport and Environment Tanja Gönner .

According to a report by Der Spiegel in November 2011, previously unpublished documents show that the then state government expected higher costs as early as 2009 - but parliament and the public did not inform them. Oettinger then prohibited further calculations, since the corresponding costs are difficult to communicate to the public.

On November 20, 2011, Oettinger said in Freiburg: “You say that everyone (s) are terminal stations. Not true at all! Strasbourg - through station. Karlsruhe - through station. It's true, Paris is a terminus, Gare de l'Est. Why? Because west of Paris there are no longer any people, but (only) cows and the Atlantic. - Stuttgart, but Stuttgart is / is? in the middle. In other words, in Paris the topic does not arise at all, and in Stuttgart the topic is elementary, and on top of that, all new train stations, all (...? ...) train stations are usually built as through stations. That's why there is a lot, no, everything speaks for Stuttgart as a through station up to the airport. "

Acting as EU Commissioner for Energy

Energy policy

As commissioner, Oettinger spoke out in favor of setting up a Europe-wide harmonized feed-in tariff for solar power based on the model of the Renewable Energy Sources Act . The European Commission had already examined a corresponding initiative in 2008, but then abandoned it because the national differences between the various funding programs for renewable energies were too great. Oettinger's proposal came in the summer of 2010 at a time when various countries with very extensive funding programs were about to cut them. However, after resistance in some countries, Oettinger withdrew the proposal. In the run-up to the “Energy Summit” of the European Council during the Hungarian EU Council Presidency in February 2011, he also advocated rapid expansion of the internal energy market and financing of the trans-European energy networks with the help of EU project bonds .

As a result of the earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011 and the subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima , Oettinger called for an EU-wide nuclear phase-out to be discussed and initiated a crisis meeting of the Council of Energy Ministers with representatives of energy companies and control authorities as well as nuclear power plant operators and manufacturers, at which the EU wide stress tests for nuclear power plants have been agreed; he spoke out against a "dilution" of the planned EU stress tests z. B. through England and France.

In December 2011, several media reported that Oettinger, in his role as EU Energy Commissioner, was promoting the expansion of nuclear energy in Europe. Accordingly, the “Energy Roadmap 2050” developed by the EU under Oettinger envisages the construction of 40 new nuclear power plants by 2030. Subsidies analogous to the feed-in tariff for renewable energies are therefore also conceivable for nuclear power plants. According to the energy timetable, the existing doubts in the European public are to be dispelled with new technologies.

In January 2012, Oettinger proposed to the Rheinische Post a merger of the two energy groups E.ON and RWE , since the two groups are "only regional league" compared to other large energy groups. If Germany, on the other hand, wants to “play in the world league”, it needs “national players of the appropriate size”. This proposal met with strong criticism from both the Federal Cartel Office and the Federation of Energy Consumers due to the already dominant market position of the two groups. The DIW was also critical of the proposal with reference to antitrust problems .

In October 2013, Oettinger came under fire for embellishing and thus falsifying the EU report on state subsidies for the European energy sector. Oettinger takes the view that renewable energies are being subsidized too heavily in Europe and has always called for these subsidies to be dismantled, as they would distort the competitive situation on the energy market. In 2013 he had the European subsidy report for 2011 listed in detail that the promotion of renewable energies in Europe would be subsidized with around 30 billion euros per year, but at the same time, shortly before the report was published, he had those figures completely deleted from the report which show that during the same period in Europe nuclear power with 35 billion euros and coal and gas power plants with a further 66 billion euros were subsidized directly and indirectly by the state.

At the end of October 2013, Oettinger called for the introduction of a Europe-wide uniform liability insurance for nuclear power plants in order to make “the real costs” of using nuclear power transparent. The amount should be at least one billion euros. In Germany, liability for nuclear power plants has so far been 2.5 billion euros. The costs of a serious reactor accident are estimated to be significantly higher; the Fukushima nuclear disaster is expected to cost around 187 billion euros. In Europe, according to an expert report, significantly higher costs would be expected due to the different topography and settlement.

Oettinger supports fracking by explaining: "Germany is so strong that it runs the risk of postponing necessary projects, including the expansion of the infrastructure. This would take revenge in the next decade."

In June 2014 he said at an event organized by the CDU Economic Council of the CDU that Germany had been "infiltrated" by homeowners with solar systems, farmers with biomass power plants and citizens who invest in wind turbines. He would like to completely abolish the EEG , but see no chance for this. The child has already fallen into the well.

Relationship with the auto industry

Günther Oettinger at the IAA 2011

In July 2012, at the request of Volkswagen AG boss Martin Winterkorn , Oettinger successfully advocated the EU Commission not to lower the limit values ​​for the car manufacturers' fleet consumption too much, as is the aim of EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard . Winterkorn had previously asked Oettinger in a letter that Volkswagen, whose fleet consumption is higher than that of a number of other manufacturers who focus on more economical models, should not be placed worse off than the competition due to this circumstance. As a result, the Commission decided, instead of an absolute reduction in fleet emissions to a minimum, a relative reduction in emissions; In addition, further relief mechanisms were introduced for the automobile manufacturers. The day after the decision, Oettinger informed Winterkorn personally in a two-page letter about the defused regulations. Accordingly, the new version contains "some not insignificant improvements compared to the original proposal", but in some areas "there is still a considerable need for improvement". He also welcomes the fact that the Commission is not entering into any binding commitments with regard to emission limit values [...], which means that the discussion on our CO₂ policy for cars after 2020 can be open-ended. Oettinger was then heavily criticized by parts of the media and environmental associations, and lobbyism allegations were also raised. Greenpeace accused Oettinger of "watering down the climate requirements", while the Verkehrsclub Deutschland called Oettinger an "undisguised representative of the industry". The Association of the Automotive Industry , on the other hand, stood behind Oettinger: "It is his job that a German commissioner also tackles German industrial and economic issues," said its president Matthias Wissmann . Oettinger accused the Lord Mayor of Tübingen , Boris Palmer , of “treason” because he preferred a Japanese hybrid model ( Toyota Prius ) to a Mercedes-Benz as a company car.

Statements on the European Union

In contrast to Angela Merkel , Oettinger supports the direct election of the EU Commission President and called it: “the goal of the federal CDU”.

In the wake of the controversies about the euro rescue package , Oettinger suggested using EU officials in the administration of heavily indebted Greece, as they act “regardless of resistance, in contrast to the“ obviously poorly efficient administration ”in the EU state and end the meander ”. He also made the suggestion that heavily indebted states should hand over their budget sovereignty to the EU for a while. This is "a real imposition for any government and would slow down excessive debt-makers." In addition, in an interview with Bild, he brought up an "unconventional idea" of setting their flags at half mast in front of EU buildings as a symbolic deterrent to deficit member states . In a letter to Commission President José Manuel Barroso, more than 150 EU parliamentarians from all political groups demanded that the statement be withdrawn or that Oettinger resign as Commissioner for Energy . As the Financial Times Deutschland reports, the idea he brought in came from a conversation with the editor-in-chief of "Bild". At the end of September 2011, Oettinger apologized for his remarks. Oettinger calls for further austerity measures in the euro area and said that in the next few years the EU could no longer provide services in return for every euro it earns in the form of pensions, smaller classes, more police presence, fewer potholes or services of the broadest kind. He called for reforms in France , ruled by the socialist François Hollande . Oettinger thinks that labor market reforms, longer working hours, a cap on pension increases and a reduction in public service positions are necessary, this position is also supported by the vast majority of economists and also from France, as France suffers from the very high costs of its welfare state, and itself more and more international companies are withdrawing from France.

In May 2013, according to a report by the Bild newspaper, Oettinger expressed himself in a speech to the German-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (debelux-AHK) about the situation in France and other EU countries (“Europe is a restructuring case”, quoted the newspaper Oettinger: “I am concerned that too many in Europe currently still believe that everything will be fine.” Brussels has “still not sufficiently recognized the real bad situation.” Instead of fighting the economic and debt crisis, Europe is celebrating “ Do-gooder ”and list themselves as an“ educational institution ”for the rest of the world.“ I am worried about countries that are basically hardly governable: Bulgaria, Romania, Italy ”). Oettinger rejected the calls in the CSU to exclude Greece from the euro area as wrong and dangerous. He also rejects the halving of the EU Commission proposed by Horst Seehofer .

Regarding European foreign policy, Oettinger said: "I would like to bet that one day in the next decade a German Chancellor will crawl to Ankara with a colleague from Paris on his knees to ask the Turks, friends, come to us." Commission distanced itself from his statements.

Acting as EU commissioner for digital

Meeting with lobbyists

In June 2015, Oettinger came under fire after an evaluation by Transparency International about the meetings between members of the EU Commission and stakeholders. It was shown that after six months of his tenure as EU Commissioner for Digital, Oettinger only met twice with lobbyists from non-governmental organizations, but 44 times with those from companies or business associations. In particular, the accusation was raised that he would only listen to the arguments of the network operators, especially with regard to network neutrality.

In the period from December 2014 to April 2017, Oettinger met 412 times with lobbyists, which was by far the highest number of all 28 EU Commissioners. 83.2% of these meetings took place with company representatives, which was the second highest figure after Internal Market and Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska (86.9%).

Copyright reform and advocacy for ancillary copyright law

In his role as EU Commissioner, Oettinger supports ancillary copyright law for press publishers and advocates its introduction at European level as part of the reform of EU copyright law . In August 2016, a working paper of the EU Commission became known, which proposes a statutory ordinance corresponding to German ancillary copyright law. Publishers would therefore have the exclusive right to use online news for 20 years, with no exceptions for snippets. This could even affect the heading.

After the publication of the working paper, Leonhard Dobusch pointed out that the EU Commission openly admits the failure of the LSR in Germany because it did not lead to increased income. But instead of giving up the attempt, the EU Commission wants to "increase the dose" and turn the LSR from "a German to a European problem". This leaves "little room for doubt that this result is due to massive lobby pressure from the press publishers and the wishes of [...] Günther Oettinger", whom he accuses of being close to Axel Springer SE . According to lawyer Till Kreutzer from the initiative against ancillary copyright, the draft would read “like a wish list of the publishing industry”. According to MEP Julia Reda , the draft would "contain nothing but attempts to protect outdated business models from progress". The "freedom of creative work on the net, innovation opportunities for startups and the dismantling of borders within the EU" are the collateral damage.

Representatives of the internet industry as well as consumer advocates and civil rights activists sharply criticized Oettinger. According to the industry association Bitkom , the plans would "primarily affect smaller publishers". The Eco - Association of the Internet Industry described it as "incomprehensible" that the "wrong path" of an ancillary copyright is being trodden. This would "turn out to be a stumbling block for the entire information society and digitization". The European Digital Rights Association said the draft "couldn't have been worse". According to the consumer association , the EU Commission “only took into account the wishes of corporate lobbyists such as the publisher”.

May 2016: Flight in the private jet of a Russia lobbyist to Hungary

In connection with the planned construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary ( Paks II ) for approx. 12 billion euros by the Russian nuclear consortium Rosatom with financing offered and planned by Russia without a tender , the associated criticism was fueled by a Flight of EU commissioner Günther Oettinger, who was responsible for energy issues until September 2014, in the private plane of Russia lobbyist Klaus Mangold in May 2016 to Budapest .

October 2016: Speech in Hamburg

In a speech on October 26, 2016 a meeting of the AGA group of companies called on digitization Oettinger Chinese as "slit ears and slanted eyes" who wore black shoe polish in her hair, spoke of an imminent introduction of "duty-sex marriage" and criticized the women's quota , the mother's pension , the minimum pension , the pension at 63 and the care allowance . Many observers rated the statements as discriminatory. After the statements became known on October 28, 2016, his suitability as EU budget commissioner was questioned by some domestic politicians. The EU Commission did not want to comment on the statements, but did not question their authenticity. On the same day the recording of the speech was published on the YouTube video portal , the EU Commission announced that Oettinger would take over the budget and budget department in the future. Oettinger later defended his statements and declined an apology. In an interview with the newspaper Die Welt , he described his designation of the Chinese as "slit eyes" as a "somewhat sloppy expression". It later became known that he had also made derogatory comments about Wallonia : the region was "run by communists" who were blocking all of Europe. The Belgian economic and trade attaché for the Wallonia region in Hamburg, Frank Compernolle, who was present at the speech, said he left the room. Despite the derogatory remarks, Chancellor Angela Merkel Oettinger expressed her full confidence. A spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry criticized Oettinger's statements on November 2, 2016. She noted that some Western politicians had an “amazing feeling of superiority”. She hoped "that they learn to look at themselves and others objectively and to respect others and treat them as equals." On November 3rd, Oettinger apologized for his discriminatory statements against the Chinese.

Acting as EU commissioner for budget and personnel

In May 2018, an interview with Oettinger caused a sensation when he expressed the expectation of the upcoming election in Italy that the next few weeks would “show that the markets, government bonds, and economic development in Italy could be so drastic that this could be for voters one possible signal is not to vote for populists from left and right ”. Italian politicians took this as a threat and suggested that he resign.

Pizzeria affair

In the so-called “pizzeria affair” it became known that Oettinger's voice can also be heard on a recording by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution of a host who is suspected of being mafia . Since the landlord was friends with Oettinger, the suspicion was expressed that Oettinger had unknowingly disclosed secrets to the mafia. However, he was later able to credibly refute that. In 1994, after the so-called pizzeria affair, a committee of inquiry came to the conclusion that Oettinger had not been guilty of divulging official secrets. When a total of 169 suspected Mafia members were arrested in 2018, this innkeeper was also arrested in Calabria . Again the accusation is of being a member of the 'Ndrangheta .


See also

Web links

Commons : Günther Oettinger  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Günther H. Oettinger - Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg. State Center for Political Education Baden-Württemberg, accessed on June 8, 2018 .
  2. Sven Afhüppe, Daniel Delhaes: Fear of the Andean Pact. In: handelsblatt.com . May 27, 2010, accessed January 5, 2017 .
  3. Günther Oettinger parliamentary group leader CDU Baden-Württemberg in conversation with Werner Reuß ( Memento from January 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ Motorcycle from March 17, 2006, page 8.
  5. ^ School clothes instead of brand madness, Stern.de, May 8, 2006.
  6. Christine Bach: Oettinger, Günther - lawyer, Prime Minister, EU Commissioner. Konrad Adenauer Foundation. From KAS.de, accessed on August 25, 2019.
  7. a b Open Letter ( Memento from May 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Press release of the German Research Foundation from September 28, 2006 ( Memento from April 14, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  9. ^ Open letter from the Association of German Art Historians V. of September 28, 2006.
  10. FAZ, 09/28/2006, No. 226 / Page 44: Germany is squandering its past. In: FAZ.net . September 28, 2006, accessed January 5, 2017 .
  11. ^ Ddp , February 10, 2010: Mappus is standing for election as head of government in the Stuttgart state parliament .
  12. From Baden-Württemberg to Brussels: Oettinger is to become EU commissioner. In: Spiegel Online . October 24, 2009, accessed January 5, 2017 .
  13. Post in Brussels: Oettinger was only the third choice as EU Commissioner for Merkel. In: Spiegel Online . October 31, 2009, accessed January 5, 2017 .
  14. EurActiv , November 27, 2009: Oettinger becomes energy commissioner .
  15. Holger Schmale: Oettinger arrived: EU Parliament confirms new commission. In: fr-online.de . February 9, 2010, accessed January 5, 2017 .
  16. Ruth Berschens: Oettinger gets experienced networkers. In: handelsblatt.com . December 8, 2009, accessed January 5, 2017 .
  17. ^ Dorothée Junkers, dpa: Günther Oettinger: Arrival in Europe's headquarters of power. In: fr-online.de . February 18, 2010, accessed January 5, 2017 .
  18. ^ Four EU commissioners give up posts, become MEPs. In: EUobserver . July 2, 2014, accessed September 11, 2014 .
  19. ^ Balance sheet of the Barroso Commission: Balance sheet of the Barroso Commission .
  20. Benjamin Bidder: Compromise in the gas dispute: crisis prevented, problem postponed. In: Spiegel Online . October 31, 2014, accessed January 5, 2017 .
  21. ^ Oettinger in front of the EU Parliament - "You can only protect people from stupidity to a limited extent". In: sueddeutsche.de . September 30, 2014, accessed January 5, 2017 .
  22. helmut.brandstaetter: Laws also apply in cyberspace. OK then. In: kurier.at. October 1, 2014, accessed January 5, 2017 .
  23. Oettinger is promoted to EU budget commissioner ( memento from October 29, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
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  35. Günther Oettinger: Open letter to the critics of my funeral speech for Hans Filbinger.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Stuttgart, April 14, 2007 (PDF, 21 kB).@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.baden-wuerttemberg.de  
  36. Oettinger stands on the controversial funeral speech ( memento from April 19, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), Netzeitung , April 12, 2007
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