POWER Troika

Germany's Young Bucks

troika
The troika (l-r): Carsten Linnemann, Paul Ziemiak and Jens Spahn.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Pacts between politicians have in the past been effective, but the top job has so far eluded those who have made them.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Three rising members of the centre-right CDU have made a pact to assist each other in their political careers.
    • Jens Spahn was helped onto the executive committee of the CDU by his allies Paul Ziemiak and Carsten Linnemann.
    • A pact between 12 young CDU politicians in 1979 bore fruit for almost all its members.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

In the summer of 1979, 12 young men on a flight from Venezuela to Chile hit on an entertaining idea to pass the time. Half-jokingly, they drafted a document called the “Andes Pact,” swearing eternal allegiance and mutual help to each other in their political careers.

The would-be politicians from the Junge Union — young members of Germany’s center-right Christian Democrats — proved quite successful. One of them, Christian Wulff, became German president. Another, Günther Oettinger, is a European Union commissioner today.

A few, like Matthias Wissmann and Franz Josef Jung, went on to become cabinet ministers. Others became state premiers, including Roland Koch of Hessen, Peter Müller of Saarland and Volker Bouffier, also of Hessen.

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