The former Federal Minister of Economics and North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Wolfgang Clement is dead. The 80-year-old died peacefully in his bed at home in Bonn early on Sunday morning with his family, the German press agency learned from the family. The New Westphalian had previously reported.
The New Social Market Economy initiative also confirmed Clement’s death. The former SPD politician, who last supported the FDP, was chairman of the network’s board of trustees. FDP boss Christian Lindner tweeted on Sunday: “The FDP mourns the loss of Wolfgang Clement. As a social liberal, he campaigned for social advancement, work and growth throughout his life.”
Badly marked by illness
At the end of August, Clement had come to a dinner from Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) for the 74th birthday of NRW. His illness – he suffered from lung cancer – had already marked him by then.
When Clement turned 80 on July 7th, the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) told the German Press Agency: “Wolfgang Clement made a big political difference, in North Rhine-Westphalia as well as at the federal level.” Schröder went on to say: “I gave him great credit for giving up the office of Prime Minister in 2002 and accepting the post of Federal Minister for Economics and Labor in my cabinet.” Together with the head of the Federal Chancellery at the time, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, he was one of the key players who designed the 2010 reform agenda, said Schröder.