‘Schauble has reduced Europe to rubble’: Cabinet colleague takes parting shot at outgoing German finance minister

Zero Hedge

The Telegraph — Germany’s foreign minister launched an extraordinary attack on the country’s outgoing finance minister on Tuesday, exposing deep divisions within Angela Merkel’s government of the last four years.

On the day Wolfgang Schäuble was elected speaker of the German parliament, Sigmar Gabriel accused him of “reducing Europe to a pile of rubble which has to put back together by others”.

In an interview with several German newspapers, Mr Gabriel said the former finance minister had “succeeded in turning almost all EU member states against Germany” with his hardline stance against Eurozone bailouts.

What made the outburst more remarkable was that Mr Gabriel served alongside Mr Schäuble as economy minister and vice-chancellor for much of the period he was

Mr Gabriel led his Social Democrats (SPD) into coalition with Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in 2013 — only for his party to suffer its worst ever defeat in last month’s election.
Although the SPD has announced it is going into opposition, Mr Gabriel and other ministers are staying on in a caretaker government while Mrs Merkel holds talks on putting together a new coalition with the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens.

The 75-year-old Mr Schäuble agreed to become speaker to free up the finance ministry, which the FDP is widely expected to demand as the price for its support. He was elected unopposed in Tuesday’s first sitting of the newly elected parliament.

But in a sign that Mr Gabriel had spoken for many in his party, his nomination was not applauded from the SPD benches, against tradition.