Dr Theo Waigel (Germany)

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Former German Finance Secretary

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As a young Finance Secretary in Chancellor Kohl’s Cabinet, Theo Waigel was one of the key figures in the German re-unification process and a strong proponent of European economic and monetary union. One of the architects of the Stability Pact, Waigel offers an informed view on harmonisation and tax reform.


Theo Waigel enjoyed a swift rise to prominence in German politics. As Chairman of the CSU during a troubled phase for the Conservative-Liberal Government, he agreed to join Chancellor Kohl’s Cabinet as Federal Minister of Finance.

Waigel’s time in office was marked by the peaceful revolution in East Germany, the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the ‘coalescence’ of Europe. Both as the CSU party leader and as a Minister, he was instrumental in bringing about re-unification and in securing Gorbachev’s agreement to a united Germany being part of NATO.

During the same period, Waigel and Foreign Minister Genscher put their signatures to the Maastricht Treaty. Had it not been for him, the Stability Pact underpinning the single European currency might never have become reality. From this position, he is well qualified to offer a view on the progress of economic reform.

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