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Jürgen Trittin

Jürgen Trittin

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Jürgen Trittin is a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Green politician. He was Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Germany)
The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, known by the initials BMU from the German name, Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, is a ministry of the German federal government. Its headquarters are in Bonn, with a branch in...

 from 1998 to 2005 in Germany.

Life and work

Trittin was born in Bremen. He earned a university degree in Social Economy
Social economy
Social economy refers to a third sector in economies between the private sector and business or, the public sector and government. It includes organisations such as cooperatives, non-governmental organisations and charities....

 in Göttingen
Göttingen is a university town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Göttingen. The Leine river runs through the town. In 2006 the population was 129,686.-General information:...

 and worked as journalist.

His political career started in 1982 as Secretary of the Alternative-Greens-Initiative List (AGIL) Group in the Göttingen City Council (until 1984). From 1984 to 1985, he worked as Press Spokesman for the Greens Group in the Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

 State Assembly, which he joined in 1985 as member of the state parliament.

From 1990 to 1994, Jürgen Trittin was the Lower Saxony Minister for Federal and European Affairs
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and the Head of the Lower Saxony State Mission to the Federal Government in a coalition cabinet with the SPD
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

, led by then minister president of Lower Saxony Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder is a German politician, and was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. A member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany , he led a coalition government of the SPD and the Greens. Before becoming a full-time politician, he was a lawyer, and before becoming Chancellor...


After Schröder's SPD won an absolute majority in the state elections in 1994, the coalition with the Greens was ended. Trittin now worked as Member of the Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

 State Assembly and as Deputy Chairman of the Alliance 90/The Greens group in that parliament. In 1994, he became Spokesman (Chairman) of the national Green Party.

In 1998, Trittin was elected as Member of the federal parliament (Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

). At the same time he discontinued his work as Spokesman, because party statutes do not allow concurrently being a member of parliament and a member of the party executive.

In the federal red-green coalition cabinet, he was appointed Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, a role which he held from October 1998 until the Grand coalition took power in 2005. In this position he was responsible for the decision to abandon the use of nuclear power
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

 by 2020, called the nuclear power phase-out
Nuclear power phase-out
A nuclear power phase-out is the discontinuation of usage of nuclear power for energy production. Often initiated because of concerns about nuclear power, phase-outs usually include shutting down nuclear power plants and looking towards renewable energy and other fuels.Austria was the first country...

 (see Nuclear power in Germany
Nuclear power in Germany
Nuclear power in Germany accounted for 23% of national electricity consumption, before the permanent shutdown of 8 plants in March 2011. German nuclear power began with research reactors in the 1950s and 1960s with the first commercial plant coming online in 1969...


In August 2005, he responded to a question on how best to react to the 2005 petrol prices crisis with "leave the car at home from time to time." The media, in particular Bild
The Bild is a German tabloid published by Axel Springer AG. The paper is published from Monday to Saturday, while on Sundays, Bild am Sonntag is published instead, which has a different style and its own editors...

, attacked these comments.

At the time of Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 in August/September 2005, Trittin wrote an opinion piece in the newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau
Frankfurter Rundschau
The Frankfurter Rundschau is a German daily newspaper, based in Frankfurt am Main. It is published every day but Sunday as a city, two regional and one nationwide issues and offers an online edition as well as an e-paper...

 associating the U.S.'s failure to sign the Kyoto protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

 with the hurricane and its devastation.

Trittin is single and father to one daughter.

On 26 January 2010, Jürgen Trittin suffered a myocardial infarction but has started working again since then. Trittin is also a distant relative of Eagan High School student Karl Trittin; the resemblance is unmistakable.


On Monday 12 September 2011, the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Philipp Rösler
Philipp Rösler
Philipp Rösler is a German politician, who, since 2011, has been the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology and the Vice Chancellor of Germany...

, after receiving some sensitive and classified informations, wrote an article in the newspaper Die Welt
Die Welt
Die Welt is a German national daily newspaper published by the Axel Springer AG company.It was founded in Hamburg in 1946 by the British occupying forces, aiming to provide a "quality newspaper" modelled on The Times...

, explaining the possible benefits of a greek bankruptcy for the rest of the Eurozone member countries. Two days later, Jürgen Trittin, as well as the politician from the F.D.P.
Free Democratic Party (Germany)
The Free Democratic Party , abbreviated to FDP, is a centre-right classical liberal political party in Germany. It is led by Philipp Rösler and currently serves as the junior coalition partner to the Union in the German federal government...

, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis
Jorgo Chatzimarkakis
Georgios Chatzimarkakis is a German politician of Greek descent, Member of the European Parliament with the Free Democratic Party of Germany ....

, being unaware about the informations, asked from the Chancellor Dr. Angela Dorothea Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

, to expell him from the government.

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