Hans Eichel

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hans Eichel (2018)
Hans Eichels autograph

Hans Eichel (born December 24, 1941 in Kassel ) is a German politician ( SPD ). He was Lord Mayor of Kassel from 1975 to 1991 , Prime Minister of the State of Hesse from 1991 to 1999, President of the Federal Council from November 1, 1998 to April 23, 1999, and Federal Minister of Finance from 1999 to 2005 .

Life and work

After graduating from high school in 1961 at the Wilhelmsgymnasium in Kassel , Eichel began studying German , philosophy , political science , history and educational science at the University of Marburg and the Free University of Berlin , which he completed in 1968 with the first state examination and in 1970 with the second state examination for teaching at grammar schools. He then worked as a teacher in Kassel - also at the Wilhelmsgymnasium - until 1975.

Eichel heads the Political Club of the Evangelical Academy Tutzing and is a member of the supervisory board of WMP Eurocom . Since August 27, 2012, Eichel has also been chairing the advisory board of LeihDeinerStadtGeld GmbH .

Eichel has been married to Gabriela Wolff-Eichel, b. Wolff, married. From his first marriage (1983-1999) he has two children.

At the end of December 2013, Hans Eichel suffered a stroke , caused by a severe neck injury with two broken cervical vertebrae, which Eichel had recently contracted when he fell down stairs. A neck operation followed with a subsequent stay in a rehab clinic.

Political party

Hans Eichel (2010)

Eichel has been a member of the SPD since 1964. In 1969 he was elected to the Federal Board of the Young Socialists and was Deputy Federal Chairman until 1972. Since 1984 he has been a member of the Hessian state board. From 1989 to 2001 he was state chairman of the SPD Hessen . From 1991 to 2005 he was a member of the SPD federal executive committee. From 1999 to 2005 he was a member of the presidium of the SPD.


From 1968 to 1975 Eichel was a member of the city council of Kassel and from 1970 chairman of the SPD parliamentary group. Between 1991 and 1999 he was a member of the Hessian Landtag and from 2002 to 2009 a member of the German Bundestag .

In 2002 Eichel moved into the Bundestag via the state list of Hesse and in 2005 with 50.6% of the first votes as a directly elected member of the constituency of Kassel .

Public offices

1975 to 1999

On October 6, 1975, at the age of only 33, he was elected Lord Mayor of Kassel. In this office he was confirmed in 1981 and 1987. In exercising this office, he was also a member of the documenta supervisory board three times .

In the 1991 state elections, the SPD was just under the strongest party with 40.8% of the vote and 0.6 percentage points ahead of the CDU, and then formed a coalition with the Greens . Eichel was therefore elected Prime Minister of Hesse on April 5, 1991 as the successor to Walter Wallmann ( CDU ). Eichel survived the " Dienstvilla Affair " in 1993 and the " Lotto Affair " in 1994 despite strong criticism of alleged nepotism .

In the 1995 state elections, the SPD, with a result of 38.0%, fell 1.2% of the votes behind the CDU under its top candidate Manfred Kanther ; Hans Eichel was able to continue the coalition government thanks to the considerable gain in votes by the Greens. The government under Prime Minister Eichel was the first red-green state government to be confirmed in office and thus remained in office for two full legislative periods .

In the 1999 state elections, the red-green state government was unable to maintain its majority due to heavy losses by the Greens (−4.0%). On the other hand, there were significant gains on the part of the CDU (+ 4.2%) under its top candidate Roland Koch . Hans Eichel therefore resigned from office on April 7, 1999.

Minister of Finance 1999 to 2005

Just five days later, on April 12, 1999, Eichel joined the federal government led by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder as the successor to Oskar Lafontaine, who resigned in March 1999, as Federal Minister of Finance . His appointment has been welcomed by financial companies, among others. Politically, he was considered to be much closer to them and Eichel expected "painful restructuring into a free market," according to the Washington Post .

In May 2000 he carried out a comprehensive tax reform , which among other things included a significant reduction in corporate tax and tax exemptions for the sale of blocks of shares and subsidiaries. According to the government, this should serve to stimulate the economy. Eichel also issued several austerity measures for the state budget. In PR, Eichel was referred to as a “savings commissioner”, and among other things, a song about Eichel and a lifestyle story was designed for the magazines. The term “savings commissioner” became known, was also used in many media, and Eichel's popularity rose significantly at first. After the tax reform there was a slump in revenues. In 2000, the state took corporate income tax of 23.6 billion euros from corporations. In the year after the tax reform, this income was completely lost and on balance the tax offices instead had to pay out almost half a billion euros to the companies. The economic situation also deteriorated (e.g. rising unemployment figures) and government debt rose sharply. Eichel's rise in popularity was broken off. As finance minister, Eichel also tried from 2003 to promote Germany as a financial center by deregulating the capital requirements for loans.

On October 18, 2005, the day the 16th German Bundestag was constituted, he and the other federal ministers were dismissed from office and at the same time commissioned by Federal President Horst Köhler to take care of the business until a new federal government was formed. After the election of Angela Merkel as Federal Chancellor, he finally resigned from office on November 22, 2005.

German Society for the United Nations

He is a member of the Presidium of the German Society for the United Nations .



Eichel sued the courts for a higher pension . A case before the Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG) caused a sensation , in which he demanded a pension from the city of Kassel for his time as civil servant and mayor (1975 to 1991). At the time of the lawsuit, he was receiving 7,100 euros a month as a pension as a former Federal Finance Minister. In November 2011, the BVerwG rejected his complaint on the grounds that his current ministerial pension was "appropriate to the office". The court stated that the city of Kassel did not need to pay him a pension to “avoid an oversupply”. If the lawsuit had been successful, he would ultimately have received 6,350 euros more per month, for a total of around 14,500 euros. The taxpayer association described Eichel's multiple claims as a good example of "how absurd and confusing the current pension system in Germany is".

Eichel is an honorary member of the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold, Bund active Democrats eV



  • (Ed.) 60 years of documenta. The local history of globalization , B&S Siebenhaar Verlag, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-943132-40-3

Web links

Commons : Hans Eichel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Author information in: Way out of the catastrophe. A guest contribution by Hans Eichel. Süddeutsche Zeitung , April 28, 2010, p. 2 , accessed on October 2, 2010 .
  2. WMP Eurocom website, accessed June 27, 2010
  3. website of LeihDeinerStadtGeld GmbH. Retrieved September 2, 2012 .
  4. Hans Eichel: Stroke as a result of falling down stairs on www.t-online.de, March 19, 2014
  5. Znet: "Mach's gut Oskar" from March 1999 ( Memento from July 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  6. a b Time: The Greatest Gift of All Time , September 8, 2005 (No. 37)
  7. See: Interview with Eichel's advisor Schmidt-Deguelle , December 2, 2008
  8. cf. Numbers on the national debt - Albrecht Müller: can we still get the debt under control? , June 2009
  9. Report Munich: Crisis Manager in the Crossfire ( Memento from July 10, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), July 2009
  10. http://www.dgvn.de/ueber-uns/organisation/praesidium/
  11. a b spiegel.de: No higher pension: the court cancels ex-finance minister Eichel
  12. spiegel.de: 6350 euros more: Ex-Minister Eichel complains about a higher pension
  13. ^ Adam Smith Prize for market-based environmental policy . Website of the Ecological-Social Market Economy forum. Retrieved October 7, 2019.