Former federal economics minister and north rhine-westphalia minister president wolfgang clement is dead. The 80-year-old died peacefully in his bed at home in bonn early on sunday morning, according to family sources. The "neue westfalische" had previously reported that.
German chancellor angela merkel (CDU) and german president frank-walter steinmeier paid tribute to clement’s life’s work. "Wolfgang clement has done a great deal to reconcile the necessary economic structural change with the needs of working people," merkel said via government spokesman steffen seibert on twitter. Clement had "rendered germany great and lasting service", he had played a decisive role in one of the most important and most difficult tasks: "the social reforms of agenda 2010, which showed us the way out of the high unemployment rate."Her sympathy goes to his wife, daughters and grandchildren.
Steinmeier wrote to the widow karin clement on sunday: "in all his offices, and in particular as federal minister for economics and labor and as minister president of north rhine-westphalia, your husband has rendered lasting service across all party lines." The former SPD politician had worked to make germany fit for the future with independent and also uncomfortable points of view. "Until the end, your husband was a fighter for the social market economy," says steinmeier’s letter of condolence.