The game of musical chairs in the German government, triggered by the upcoming departure of President Joachim Gauck, has pushed a former minister contemplating retirement back into the limelight.
Brigitte Zypries was up till now a deputy minister in Sigmar Gabriel’s economics ministry and will replace him as economy minister while Mr. Gabriel switches to minister for foreign affairs.
Ms. Zypries, a legal expert, was justice minister from 2002 to 2005 under former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and then under Chancellor Angela Merkel until 2009. Before the developments this week, the 63-year old Social Democrat had publicly stated she was in the process of winding down her career in central government.
Last June she announced she did not plan to run for the Bundestag in the general election due in September this year.
But she was the obvious candidate to succeed Mr. Gabriel as economics and energy minister for the months before the election. She has known the ministry for years and, as state secretary, she has frequently filled in for Mr. Gabriel.