The Courier-Mail

Politician hunts down journalist­s


BERLIN: Germany’s ambitious health minister has been told to respect the press after his personal lawyers tracked down journalist­s who were digging into the details of his property portfolio.

Jens Spahn, 40, is regarded as a possible contender to become chancellor when Angela Merkel retires in September.

In recent weeks, however, his approval ratings have fallen as he wrestles with a stalling vaccinatio­n program, and his latest actions risk alienating large sections of the media.

Last year, Mr Spahn and his husband, Daniel Funke, 39, spent a substantia­l sum on a Weimar-era house in Dahlem, a prosperous suburb of the capital favoured by diplomats and leading business figures.

He also owns two flats elsewhere in the city.

In a country where displays of wealth by politician­s are generally frowned on, the purchase caused comment as it was in the midst of a recession and Mr Spahn has refused to say how much he paid for it.

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