Ex-Universal boss to be Berlin’s culture minister

Die Welt reports that the Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit plans to appoint the iconoclastic Tim Renner as Kultur-Staatssekretär.

Renner, 49, an SPD loyalist, is former chief of Universal Music Deutschland. Probably not too much of a socialist.

His predecessor stepped down from the political post after owning up to having a Swiss bank account.

tim renner

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  • It’s been confirmed: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/neuer-staatssekretaer-wowereit-bestaetigt-tim-renner-wird-neuer-kulturchef-in-berlin/9545388.html

    His predecessor was the widely respected André Schmitz. The reason for his resignation was not the swiss banc account as such but the fact that he used ist for tax evasion.

    And here’s some additional background on the post as as such: Berlin is a city-state, the city government acts as state government as well. Theoretically, most cultural affairs are state matter in Germany, however, federal government spendings on Berlin-based cultural institutions are higher than those of the city government (the city’s budget is always close to bankruptcy).

    Unlike other German states, Berlin has no minister for culture. Not because the ministers are called “senators” in city-states, but because the Berlin’s constitution limits the number of senators to 8 (plus the mayor/prime minister). So the present coalition goernment decided that culture should be within the direct responsibility of the mayor, who appoints a Staatssekretär for culture within the mayor’s office. With Schmitz this arrngement worked quite well – not so sure about this concerning Renner, though media report that he has been a close personal friend of mayor Klaus Wowereit for more than 10 years.

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