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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...
politician of the SPD
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...
and former Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
Walter Riester joined the SPD in 1966 and since 1998 he has been a member of the party's federal executive board. From 1993 to 1998 he was deputy chairman of the IG Metall
IG Metall is the dominant metalworkers' union in Germany. Analysts of German labor relations consider it a major trend-setter in national bargaining. As a metalworkers' union, it represents workers in the motor vehicle industry...
. From 1998 to 2002 Riester was Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in the cabinet of the then chancellor 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...
. The ministry was dissolved after the federal elections in 2002, so Riester was withdrawn from the cabinet, although there had been no change of government. His name is best known for the so called Riester-Rente
, a grant-aided privately funded pension scheme, which was created during his term of office.