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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s wife is stepping down as the education minister of the region where the couple lives, the state government said Monday.
The government of Brandenburg state, an eastern region that surrounds Berlin, said in a statement that Britta Ernst is resigning from her post, but didn’t give any reason.
It said that she would hold a news conference Monday afternoon together with state governor Dietmar Woidke and her successor, Steffen Freiberg, who until now was her deputy.
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Ernst, 62, has been Brandenburg’s education minister since 2017. Like Scholz, she is a member of the center-left Social Democrats.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, and Britta Ernst, the former Brandenburg Minister of Education, attend the G7 Summit in Elmau, Germany, on June 26, 2022, during an arrival ceremony. Britta Ernst is stepping down as the education minister of the region where the couple lives, the government said on April 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)
Ernst was a member of the state legislature in her native Hamburg, where Scholz later served as mayor, from 1997 to 2011. She was the education minister of the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein from 2014 until a center-left government in that region lost power in 2017.
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Woidke thanked Ernst for her work and said she led her ministry “with vision and a steady hand in difficult times,” including the COVID-19 pandemic. In Germany, education is almost entirely the responsibility of the country’s 16 state governments.