Helmut Josef Michael Kohl German: From toKohl was minister president of the state Rhineland-Palatinate. Kohl chaired the Group of Seven in and In he became honorary chairman of the CDU, resigning from the position in He earned a PhD in history at Heidelberg University in and worked as a business executive before becoming a full-time politician.
He was elected as the youngest member
Consolidating student loans reddit soccer the Parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate in and became Minister-President of his home state in Viewed during the s and the early s as a progressive within the CDU, he was elected national chairman of the party in "Consolidating student loans reddit soccer" he had become party leader, Kohl was increasingly seen as a more conservative figure.
As Chancellor Kohl was strongly committed to European integration and French—German cooperation in particular; he was also a steadfast ally of the United States and supported Reagan's more aggressive policies in order to weaken the Soviet Union.
Kohl's year tenure was the longest of any German Chancellor since Otto von Bismarck. He oversaw the end of the Cold War and the German reunificationfor which he is generally known as Chancellor of Unity. He played an instrumental role in solving the Bosnian War.
Domestically, Kohl's policies focused on economic reforms and later also on the process of integrating the former East Germany into the reunited Germany, and he moved the federal capital from the "provisional capital" Bonn back to Berlinalthough he himself never resided there because the government offices were only relocated in Kohl also greatly increased federal spending on arts and culture.
After his chancellorship, Kohl's reputation suffered domestically because of his role in the CDU donations scandal and he had to resign from his honorary chairmanship of the CDU after little more than a year in Januarybut he was partly rehabilitated in later years.
Kohl was described as "the greatest European leader of the second half of the 20th century" Consolidating student loans reddit soccer U. Bush  and Bill Clinton. Kohl's family was conservative and Roman Catholic, and remained loyal to the Catholic Centre Party before and after His elder brother died in World War II as a teenage soldier. At the age of ten, Kohl was obliged, like most children in Germany at the time, to join the Deutsches Jungvolka section of the Hitler Youth.
Aged 15, on 20 AprilKohl was sworn into the Hitler Youth by leader Artur Axmann at Berchtesgadenjust days before the end of the war, as membership was mandatory for all boys of his age.
Kohl was also drafted for military service in ; he was not involved in any combat, a fact he later referred to as the "mercy of late birth" "Consolidating student loans reddit soccer" Kohl was the first in his family to attend university. InKohl joined the recently founded CDU becoming a full member once he turned 18 in InKohl became vice-chair of the Junge Union in Rhineland-Palatinate being a member of the board until In earlyKohl was elected chairman of the Ludwigshafen district branch of the CDU, as well as candidate for the upcoming state elections.
On 19 AprilKohl was elected as the youngest member of the state diet, the Landtag of Rhineland-Palatinate. Following the next state election inhe took over as chairman, "Consolidating student loans reddit soccer" position he held until he became Minister-President in In MarchKohl was elected as chairman of the party in Rhineland-Palatinate, while Altmeier once again ran for minister-president in the state elections inagreeing to hand the post over to Kohl after two years, halfway into the legislative period.
As ofhe is the youngest person ever to be elected as head of government in a German Bundesland. His government abolished school corporal punishment and the parochial schooltopics that had been controversial with the conservative wing of his party.
Kohl moved up into the federal board Vorstand of the CDU in As a member of the board and the executive committee, Kohl pushed towards a party reform, supporting liberal stances in education and social policies, including employee participation. To make matters worse, in a mistake during the voting process, Kohl himself voted against the proposal, further angering his supporters, such as party treasurer Walther Leisler Kiep.
Nevertheless, when Kiesinger stepped down as party chairman inKohl was a candidate for his succession. He was unsuccessful, losing the vote to Barzel to The attempt failed, as two members of the opposition voted against Barzel. After Barzel announced on 10 May that he would not run for the post of party chairman again, Kohl succeeded him at a party convention in Bonn on 12 Juneamassing of votes, with him as the only candidate.
When chancellor Brandt stepped down in Consolidating student loans reddit soccer following the unraveling of the Guillaume AffairKohl urged his party to restrain from Schadenfreude and not to use Consolidating student loans reddit soccer position of their political opponent for "cheap polemics".
What placed Kohl, who intended to run for chancellor, under increased pressure was the fact that the sister parties of CDU and CSU were set to decide upon their leading candidate for the upcoming federal elections in mid On election day, the CDU achieved a result of On 12 Maythe federal board of the CDU unanimously nominated Kohl as the candidate for the general elections, without Consolidating student loans reddit soccer their Bavarian "Consolidating student loans reddit soccer" party beforehand.
These attempts led to discomfort within the membership base of the CDU and hampered both parties' chances in the upcoming elections. Kohl himself remained silent during these tensions, which some interpreted as a lack of leadership, while others such as future president Karl Carstens praised him for seeking a consensus at the centre of the party.
He was succeeded by Bernhard Vogel. Kohl remained as leader of the opposition, under the third Schmidt cabinet — Many of the important details of the new coalition had been hammered out on 20 September, though minor details were reportedly still being hammered out as the vote took place. Though Kohl's election was done according to the Basic Lawit came amid some controversy.
There were also doubts Consolidating student loans reddit soccer the new government had the support of a majority of the people. In answer, the new government aimed at new elections at the earliest possible date.
Polls suggested that a clear majority was indeed in reach. As the Basic Law only allows the dissolution of parliament after an unsuccessful confidence motion, Kohl had to take another controversial move: President Karl Carstens then dissolved the Bundestag at Kohl's request and called new elections. The move was controversial, as the coalition parties denied their votes to the same man they had elected Chancellor a month before and whom they wanted to re-elect after the parliamentary election.
In the federal elections of MarchKohl won a resounding victory. Some opposition members of the Bundestag asked the Federal Constitutional Court to declare the whole proceeding unconstitutional. It denied their claim, but did set restrictions on a similar move in the future. The second Kohl cabinet pushed through several controversial plans, including the stationing of NATO midrange missiles, against major opposition from the peace movement.
Together, they commemorated the deaths of both World Wars. The photograph, which depicted their minutes long handshake became an important symbol of French-German reconciliation. Kohl and Mitterrand developed a close political relationship, forming an important motor for European integration.
This French-German cooperation also was vital for important European projects, like the Treaty of Maastricht and the Euro. InKohl and U.
President Ronald Reaganas part of a plan to observe the 40th anniversary of V-E Daysaw an
Consolidating student loans reddit soccer to demonstrate the strength of the friendship that existed between Germany and its former foe. During a November visit to the White House, Kohl appealed to Reagan to join him in symbolizing the reconciliation of their two countries at a German military cemetery. As Reagan visited Germany as part of the 11th G7 summit in Bonn, the pair visited Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on 5 May and, controversially, the German military cemetery at Bitburg.
Kohl's chancellorship presided over a number of innovative policy measures. Extensions in unemployment benefit for claimants were introduced, while the benefit for the young unemployed was extended to age Ina child-rearing allowance was introduced to benefit parents when at least one was employed.
Informal carers were offered an attendance allowance together with tax incentives, both of which were established with the tax reforms ofand were also guaranteed up to 25 hours a month of professional support, which was supplemented by four weeks of annual holiday relief. Inan early retirement scheme was introduced that offered incentives to employers to replace elderly workers with applicants off the unemployment register.
Inspecial provisions were introduced for the older unemployed. Kohl's time as Chancellor also saw some controversial decisions in the field of social policy. Student aid was made reimbursable to the state  while the Health Care Reform Act of introduced the concept by which patients pay up front and are reimbursed, while increasing patient co-payments for hospitalisation, spa visits, dental prostheses, and prescription drugs.
After the federal elections of Kohl won a slightly reduced majority and formed his third cabinet. Following the breach of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the East German Communist regime inKohl's handling of the East German issue would become the turning point of his chancellorship.
Kohl, like most West Germans, was initially caught unawares when the Socialist Unity Party was toppled in late Well aware of his constitutional mandate to seek German unity, he immediately moved to make it a reality.
Taking advantage of the historic political changes occurring in East Germany, Kohl presented a ten-point plan for "Overcoming of the division of Germany and Europe" without consulting his coalition partner, the FDP, or the Western Allies. On 18 MayKohl signed an economic and social union treaty with East Germany.
This treaty stipulated that when reunification took place, it would be under the quicker provisions of Article 23 of the Basic Law.
That article stated that any new states could adhere to the Basic Law by a simple majority vote. The alternative would have been the more protracted route of drafting a completely new constitution for the newly reunified country, as provided by Article of the Basic Law. An Article reunification would have opened up contentious issues in West Germany, and would have been impractical in any case since by then East Germany was in a state of utter collapse.
In contrast, an Article 23 reunification could be completed in as little as six months. In the end, this policy would seriously hurt companies in the new federal states. He received assurances from Gorbachev that a reunified Germany would be able to choose which international alliance it wanted to join, although Kohl made no secret that he wanted the reunified Germany to inherit West Germany's seats at NATO and the EC. A reunification treaty was signed on 31 Augustand was overwhelmingly approved by both parliaments on 20 September These states Consolidating student loans reddit soccer been the original five states of East Germany before being abolished inand had been reconstituted in August.
East and West Berlin were reunited as the capital of the enlarged Federal Republic. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Kohl confirmed that historically German territories east of the Oder-Neisse line were definitively part of Poland, thereby relinquishing any claim Germany had to them.
InKohl confirmed, via treaty with the Czech Republic, that Germany would no longer bring forward territorial claims as to the pre ethnic German Sudetenland.
This treaty was a disappointment for the German Heimatvertriebene Consolidating student loans reddit soccer persons". Reunification placed Kohl in a momentarily unassailable position. He then formed his fourth cabinet. After the federal elections of Kohl was reelected with a somewhat reduced majority, defeating Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate Rudolf Scharping.
In foreign politics, Kohl was more successful, for instance getting Frankfurt am Main as the seat for the European Central Bank. By the late s, Kohl's popularity had dropped amid rising unemployment.
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