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60-year-old seriously ill: Saxony-Anhalt’s ex-finance minister Bullerjahn is dead

60-year-old seriously ill
Saxony-Anhalt’s ex-finance minister Bullerjahn is dead

As a minister, Jens Bullerjahn shaped financial policy in Saxony-Anhalt for years and was praised as a “social democrat who can handle money”. But privately he fought against a serious nervous disease. A fight he has now lost – at just 60 years old.

The former Finance Minister and Vice Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, Jens Bullerjahn, is dead. “The news of his death fills me with sadness and dismay,” said Saxony-Anhalt Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) in Magdeburg. “Jens Bullerjahn and his voice will be missed in this country.” As the “Mitteldeutsche Zeitung” published in Halle reported, citing his former State Secretary Jörg Felgner, Bullerjahn died at the age of 60 on Saturday in a clinic in Eisleben as a result of a serious and rare illness.

“With Jens Bullerjahn, Saxony-Anhalt has lost a politician who decisively shaped this state,” stressed Haseloff. “It is above all thanks to his work as Minister of Finance that the state finances could be restructured.” In this way, he created scope for decision-making for future generations.

The married father of two adult sons was one of the most prominent politicians in Saxony-Anhalt after reunification. In his last interview with the “Mitteldeutsche Zeitung” last May, the SPD politician made it public that he suffered from the rare nervous disease ALS. It is an incurable degenerative disease of the nervous system that leads to muscle wasting.

16 years in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt

The trained electrical engineer Bullerjahn had worked as an engineer for process automation in the Mansfeld combine before reunification. After reunification he went into politics, became a member of the municipal and district councils and was a member of the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt for 16 years. He was temporarily leader of the state parliamentary group and deputy federal chairman of the SPD.

As parliamentary manager of the SPD parliamentary group, he was considered one of the architects of the “Magdeburg model”, which caused a sensation nationwide: From 1994 to 2002, the then Prime Minister Reinhard Höppner of the SPD led a government without his own majority and was in the state parliament on the support of the PDS instructed.

Farewell to politics at the age of 53

He was nominated as the top candidate for the 2006 state elections, but only came third with the SPD. Under Prime Minister Wolfgang Böhmer of the CDU, he became Minister of Finance in the same year. During his ten-year term as minister and deputy head of government, Bullerjahn prescribed a strict consolidation course for the state in the fight against increasing national debt, according to the “Mitteldeutsche Zeitung”.

“A social democrat who can handle money,” was the headline in the “FAZ” at the time. However, his actions always brought him criticism from his own party. In the fall of 2015, at the age of 53, Bullerjahn, Germany’s longest-serving finance minister, surprisingly announced his retirement from politics. He then published several books and enjoyed sailing.

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