The portrait on the background of sanctions: Gabriel will become the new head of the foreign Ministry of Germany

Sigmar Gabriel (Sigmar Gabriel) wants to lose weight and not lose weight. To lose weight — literally. 57-year-old is still Chairman of the Social democratic party of Germany (SPD) suffers from diabetes, developed on the background of overweight. At the end of 2016, Gabrielle went on a radical step — he underwent surgery to reduce the stomach.

Not to lose weight, Gabrielle is committed as a politician. And although the current Minister of economy, Vice-Chancellor and leader of the social Democrats conceded the right to run for Chancellor of the ex-President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (Martin Schulz), Gabriel remains in Germany a political heavyweight, perfectly familiar with the political kitchen. A new field for his activities should be the German foreign Ministry.

From troubled teen to teacher with leftist views

About the childhood of the future Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany know that it was not easy. Sigmar Gabriel was born on 12 September 1959 in the West German town of Goslar in Lower Saxony in the family of clerks and nurses. When parents separated, the boy with the three years he lived with his father, who did not disdain physical abuse, and was a staunch Nazi. Due to problems in the family Gabriel for some time was considered the school a difficult child. Only when he was ten years old, his mother through court has achieved the right to take his son to him. “Hard to walk, but she saved my life,” recalled the politician.

A schoolboy Gabriel showed interest in the ideas of the left, joining the organization of “socialist youth of Germany” and then in the SPD. This time it was the peak of popularity in Germany left, the chancellors were social Democrats. After serving in the army of Gabriel entered the University of göttingen, he studied German, political science and sociology, a diploma teacher.

Gabriel to engage in politics at the regional level, gradually climbing the career ladder. In 1990-e years it was official favors Prime Minister of Lower Saxony Gerhard schröder (Gerhard Schröder). When, in 1998, Schroeder took the position of Chancellor in the government of social Democrats and “green”, the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony soon became Gabriel. However, the position had come to him not as a result of winning the election, and the party changes. In any case, in 39 years Gabriel was the youngest of the heads of the land governments.

Career advancement did not last long. On the next land elections the party lost Gabriel, and he in 2003 was “authorized by the SPD’s pop culture”. As the press writes, it was the fact that Gabriel was a good connection with the German rock musicians, for example, Udo Lindenberg (Udo Lindenberg). It was then a social Democrat received the ironic nickname “ziggy pop”.

Despite the defeat, Gabrielle quickly returned to politics and in 2005 became Minister of environment in the coalition government of social Democrats and conservatives of the CDU/CSU led by Angela Merkel (Merkel Аngela). After a painful social reforms conducted by the Cabinet schröder, the SPD has been losing its popularity. The party was worried and organizational upheaval, changing in a short time by a few leaders. The popularity of the SPD fell by nearly half. In 2009, the social Democrats have established a record in its recent history, received the election to the Bundestag only 23 percent. It was then that the party was headed by Gabriel, who was hoping the end of the crisis.

The drop in popularity

It succeeded only partially. The falling popularity of the SPD has slowed, and in the 2013 elections, the result was slightly higher than before. But to return to the previous position, the party could not. According to opinion polls held in early 2017, the SPD was ready to vote about 20 percent of German voters.

Most recently, Gabrielle has achieved unexpected success, proposing to be the next President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Frank-Walther Steinmeier). Merkel was against it, but conceded because he had no political capacity to hold its candidate. Soon Gabriel will be added and a nice family trouble: the leader of the social Democrats in the coming months will once again be a father. The policy already has a grown daughter from his first marriage and a four year old daughter from the second.

An autograph from Putin

With the current second wife of Gabriel about what happened during his visit to Moscow in 2015, which became known recently. During a meeting with Vladimir Putin, the Minister of economy of Germany addressed to the President of Russia with a request to sign an autograph. Asked his wife, a dentist by profession, which, in turn, asked for autographs on pictures of Putin her employee, a young woman Oksana is originally from Siberia.

The last time Gabriel met with Putin in Moscow in September 2016. As he wrote to the German press, the time for visit was not the best. Russia’s relations with the West, and so dramatically deteriorated after the annexation of Crimea and war in Eastern Ukraine, has again deteriorated against the backdrop of the bombing humanitarian convoy in Aleppo, Syria.

“Every time I meet or am in Moscow, heavy, — quotes the words of Gabriel in conversation with Putin, the magazine Der Spiegel. The first time I was here in 1980, when the West boycotted the Olympic games.”

Coincidentally, in the first week of March 2014, in the midst of the Crimean crisis, Gabriel first visited Moscow and met with Putin, and then Kiev. After the annexation of Crimea, the SPD supported the introduction of sanctions against Russia.

The Gabriel as economy Minister ordered to stop the execution of the contract, the German defense group Rheinmetall for the construction of a training ground for the Russian army. But large economic projects sanctions are not affected. So, Gabriel has supported the construction of the pipeline “Nord stream-2”.

After a relative freezing of the conflict in the East of Ukraine from the lips of the first persons of the SPD, which has traditionally supported close ties with Moscow, it is being said about the lifting of sanctions. “We all know from our experience that prolonged isolation does nothing, — said Gabriel in may 2016. In the end, will only help the dialogue.” It was not the first such statement by the leader of the social Democrats, who advocated the lifting of sanctions subject to phased implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Soon this political line Sigmar Gabriel will be able to carry out in office the new Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany. The decision that he should be the successor to Frank-Walter Steinmeier, taken at a meeting of the Presidium of the SPD on the evening of 24 January.