Germany appoints new environment minister

Former Lower Saxony premier with no environment policy experience takes over green affairs ministry

Germany's centre-left SPD has picked Sigmar Gabriel, a former premier of Lower Saxony and a high-ranking SPD official, to be environment minister in a government led by Conservative chancellor Angela Merkel.

Thursday's nomination of Mr Gabriel, who has virtually no experience in environmental policy, came as a surprise. The German media had speculated that Michael Müller, the SPD's environmental policy spokesman in parliament, would be picked for the job (EED 11/10/05).

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