FACTBOX-Germany's Greens pick Baerbock as chancellor candidate

by Reuters
Monday, 19 April 2021 09:23 GMT

BERLIN, April 19 (Reuters) - Germany's ecologist Greens on Monday named Annalena Baerbock as their chancellor candidate for a September federal election at which they hope to win a role in national government, and possibly even lead it for the first time.

The decision to name a single chancellor candidate for the first time since they formed some 40 years ago is a sign of how seriously the Greens are taking their push for power. Previously, the party picked a leadership duo for elections, showing their commitment to gender equality but also making a tacit admission that they had no chance of winning.

Baerbock won the candidacy ahead of her fellow party co-leader, Robert Habeck. Both are from the pragmatic, rather than fundamentalist, wing of the Greens.

Following are some key facts about Baerbock:

* Largely unknown when she was elected co-chair of the Greens in 2018, Baerbock lacks government experience but she has impressed her party with hard work and raised her profile.

* A former national bronze medal winner on the trampoline, Baerbock, 40, was born in a village near Hanover, in north-western Germany.

* Respected within her party as a serious-minded and capable co-leader, colleagues say she prefers delving into nitty-gritty policy detail to delivering rousing rhetoric.

* With a keen interest in international and European affairs, Baerbock studied at the London School of Economics and was an advisor to a member of the European Parliament. She also worked as an advisor on foreign and security policy for the Greens in the Bundestag lower house of parliament. Previously, she had studied political science and public law in Hamburg.

* Elected to the Bundestag in 2013, she initially focused on climate policy, economic affairs and energy. Later she turned to child poverty. Married with two daughters, she lives in Potsdam, near Berlin. As a lawmaker representing the eastern state of Brandenburg, she has been involved in Germany's exit from coal.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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