Otto von Hößlin
Otto von Hößlin
|44th Premier of Werania|
|Assumed office |
28 June 2019
|Preceded by||Josef Felder|
|Leader of the National Consolidation Party|
|Assumed office |
3 March 2016
|Preceded by||Günter Schaefer|
|Born||24 June 1952|
Malstadt, Wolfsfled, Werania
|Political party||National Consolidation Party|
|Alma mater||University of Malstadt|
Otto Viktor Karl Alfred von Hößlin (born Weranian politician who is currently the Premier of Werania. The leader of the National Consolidation Party since 2016 von Hösslin previously served in several ministerial roles including in Economy and Industry (1999-2003) Health Services (2003-2007) and Defence (2009-2011).24 June 1952, aged 67) is a
Prior to entering politics von Hösslin worked as a corporate lawyer representing Retenbank and ÖE Holdings (the state-owned oil company in Werania) before being elected to parliament at the 1991 general election for the NKP. In 1999 he entered the cabinet of Rasa Šimonytė as the Minister of Economy and Industry. He served in the role until 2003 when he became Health Minister and in 2009 Defence Minister in the cabinet of Dietrich Wittmann. When the NKP lost government in 2011 von Hösslin ran for the NKP leadership representing the national conservative wing of the party but he was defeated by Günter Schaefer who represented the moderate, neoliberal wing.
In 2016 von Hösslin became NKP leader where he steered the party to the right, supporting more right-wing populist policies. This led to a rise in support for the NKP which led to the NKP to become the largest party in the 2019 election. He subsequently formed a government with the Democratic Alternative party
- 1 Early life
- 2 Political career
- 3 Premier
- 4 Political views and public image
- 5 Personal life
Otto von Hößlin was born on the 24 June, 1952 in the city of Malstadt in Wolfsfled. Von Hößlin was the second child and first son of Ludwig von Hößlin, a jurist who came from a minor noble family. His mother, Karin Berta von Neumann, came from the much more prominent von Neumann family with his great-grandfather Andreas von Neumann having served as the president of the Volkstag during the 1890's for the Conservative Party. His family have been described as conservative and Catholic with a "provincial mindset".
Von Hösslin was educated at the Saint Thomas Preparatory School, an all-boys private school located in rural Cislania, for his primary education. His secondary education was also at an all-boys private school, the Sternberger Gymnasium graduating with his abitur in 1970. He attended the University of Malstadt studying a bachelors degree in law from 1970 onwards after passing the entrance exam that year.
Von Hösslin graduated from university in 1974 and worked as an apprentice (Rechtsanwaltsanwärter) for the Jungmann Law Firm based in Maldstadt from 1974-1977. After completing an apprenticeship and spending ten months working as a clerk in at a local court von Hösslin became eligible to take a law exam in 1978 which he passed, enabling him to be officially employed as a lawyer (Rechtsanwalt).
Following his graduation as a lawyer von Hösslin worked in a corporate capacity for the Weranian banking group Rentenbank from 1978 to 1982. He left Rentenbank in 1982 to work for ÖE Holdings, the state owned oil corporation in Werania.
Whilst working for ÖE Holdings von Hösslin successfully defended the group against several lawsuits put forward by various groups that sought to legally oppose various oil projects set up across rural Werania. In a television interview in 1985 von Hösslin accused environmentalist groups in Werania of trying to seek attention rather then positively contribute to society.
In 1986 he was assigned to ÖE Holdings foreign division and worked variously in Zorasan, Marchenia and Cassier. In 1991 he announced that he would be resigning from the company in order to run for a seat in the Volkstag for the National Consolidation Party.
Von Hösslin had joined the National Consolidation Party (NKP) in 1971 whilst still at university after seeing NKP minister and future premier Johannes Zollitsch speak at a political rally. He applied to become a candidate in the 1984 and 1987 elections in his native Gothberg but lost pre-selection each time. In 1991 as part of NKP leader Edmund Blaurock's reforms greater emphasis on candidate selection was given to younger people in the private sector; von Hösslin was as such approved to run in a safe rural seat in Bonnlitz-Ostbrücken. At the 1991 election von Hösslin was one of the 58 new NKP Volkstag members.
Von Hösslin quickly aligned himself with members of the NKP who supported both social conservatism and economic liberalism. A member of the Sotirian Nation Caucus, a loose grouping of socially conservative NKP members, von Hösslin alongside several of his colleagues attempted unsuccessfully to have abstinence-only sex education imposed on a federal level in 1992. In 1993 he voted against extensions to both abortion access and LGBT+ rights to adoption, motions which both failed to pass the Volkstag. In 1994 von Hösslin contributed to a policy document written by several NKP legislators which called for large scale tax cuts, curbs on trade union rights, an expansion of Werania's nuclear weapons arsenal and resistance to greater integration into the Euclean Community.
Von Hösslin was re-elected in the 1995 election which saw the NKP again defeated with party president Blaurock resigning. His successor, Rasa Šimonytė, made von Hösslin spokesmen on economic strategy and industrial relations. During the 1995-1999 term von Hösslin promoted a series of pro-business policies, being crucial in the NKP's proposals for economic governance if they regained power. These proposals included tax reductions across incomes and corporations, eliminating the capital gains tax, privatising transport infrastructure and withdrawing state subsidies to cooperatives that had been supported under the incumbent SRPO government. Von Hösslin also advocated restricting trade union rights including outlawing unions from engaging in political activity, allowing employers to sack and selectively redeploy workers if they chose, and sequestrating unions' assets if they broke industrial laws. He also stated that the NKP would consider implementing anti-union security laws. Within the NKP von Hösslin was viewed as a relative moderate compared to others who supported more free-market policies.
The NKP secured 250 seats in the 1999 election and 40% of the vote, allowing them to form a coalition government with the Democratic Alternative that enjoyed a large majority in the Volkstag. Von Hösslin was subsequently appointed as Minister of Economy and Industry where he was tasked with reducing the high unemployment rate in Werania, with the unemployment rate being 9%. Upon being appointed Minister von Hösslin stated that the government needed to implement "tough measures" to reduce unemployment and that reform to work laws was needed.
In April 2001 von Hösslin with the support of Šimonytė introduced the Employment Law that aimed to reduce trade union powers - this included allowing employers greater leeway to hire and fire employees, banning closed shops and introducing harsher penalties to trade unions that broke the law. Von Hösslin claimed that the law would remove the "blockage" that had made Weranian labour uncompetitive abroad and allow for unemployment to be substantially reduced. The Employment Law was strongly supported by major business groups, media organisations and the governing coalition but met fierce trade union resistance. Strikes were held throughout the country from April through to June 2001 as the law was debated in the Bundestag, as the opposition SRPO and Weranic Section of the Workers' International sought to prevent its passing.
The Employment Law was passed on the 17 June 2001 with no amendments which was credited partially to the uncompromising attitude of von Hösslin forcing the legislation through. The passing of the law was later credited with reducing unemployment from 8% in 2000 to 5% in 2004, although others pointed to a change in how unemployment is recorded. The Employment Law made von Hösslin one of the least popular ministers in the cabinet and it was predicted that he would be removed from the role throughout the reminder of 2001, although von Hösslin remained in office.
In the 2000 budget von Hösslin and Finance Minister Reinhold Metzinger successfully were able to reduce a large amount of taxes including corporation tax (reduced from 32% to 24%) capital gains (reduced from 30% to 15%) and the top band of income tax (reduced from 65% to 50%). Von Hösslin and Metzinger claimed that the tax reductions would enable greater economic growth and higher state revenue as capital will be moved from overseas back to Werania. The cut to capital gains tax led to a real estate bubble which was seen by the government as a positive development, although such an outcome was later seen as a contributing factor to the 2005 Euclean financial crisis.
Despite his pro-business views, over his tenure von Hösslin was seen to lose support from the business community. The Statesman writer Volkhardt Osterhaus observed that "after successfully passing the 2001 employment law and having been one of the key architects of the tax cuts in the 2000 budget, von Hösslin has been seen to lose enthusiasm in the government's economic reform agenda" and that compared to Metzinger was not seen as a key proponent of further deregulation within the cabinet. Business leaders were said to be "disappointed" in von Hösslin after the Minister confirmed that he would not support the introduction of tribunal fees for employees making claims against employers which had been proposed by the NKP in 1999.
Amid speculation that he would lose his role in cabinet following the 2003 federal election von Hösslin was shuffled to the position of Minister of Health Services. The reshuffle was seen as a demotion as economic liberals in the NKP demanded a more pro-deregulation Economy Minister replaced von Hösslin.
As Health Minister von Hösslin stated that his priorities would be to increase efficiency and reduce costs in the health sector. Under von Hösslin the government's previous policy of promoting public–private partnerships in the sector was continued and expanded. Critics stated that these policies were an attempt of backdoor privatisation but they were defended by the Health Services Ministry for improving services and reducing total expenditure. As in his last ministerial position von Hösslin was seen as having a "low key style" but that whilst such a style was unsuited to the Economy Ministry it was well-suited to the Health portfolio, usually a contentious issue for conservative governments in Werania.
As Health Services Minister von Hösslin increasingly came to clash with premier Šimonytė over her more socially liberal policies. In October 2004 von Hösslin in his role as Health Services Minister proposed to cabinet to amend abortion laws so they only applied if there was a risk to a women's life or health or it was in the case of rape; the law received only lukewarm support from premier Šimonytė who withdraw support for the law after there were large scale protests against its introduction. Von Hösslin criticised this attitude as "supporting the death of thousands of children" and called for the government to put morality over popularity.
During the 2005 financial crisis von Hösslin was criticised by some for his stint as Economy Minister, with von Hösslin's tax cuts being pointed to as a contributor to the crisis. Von Hösslin however defended his conduct as Economy Minister and stated that the government had performed "appropriately" to the crisis. Von Hösslin supported Šimonytė's run for a fourth term as NKP leader in 2006.
Following the 2007 federal election von Hösslin did not return to cabinet, with Šimonytė instead promoting Cecilia Mittermeier to Minister of Health Services. Von Hösslin's exclusion from cabinet was widely seen as due to his perceived lukewarm support for Šimonytė. In 2009 following Šimonytė's resignation von Hösslin supported the candidacy of Dietrich Wittmann for NKP leader and premier. Wittmann would ultimately win the leadership contest.
Upon the inauguration of the Wittmann cabinet in July 2007 von Hösslin re-entered cabinet as the position of Minister of Defence. As Defence Minister von Hösslin was considered to be "fiercely opposed" to large cuts in military expenditure from the austerity programme being implemented by the Wittmann cabinet.
Following his appointment as Defence Minister von Hösslin confirmed that Werania would deploy over 1,000 new troops for peacekeeping operations in Mabifia and Rwizikuru. Von Hösslin stated that if war crimes continued from the Mabifian government in the Makanian Conflict that Werania must debate "whether the free world can abide by further violence and destabilisation in the region". The continuing civil war in Nise also prompted a strong response from von Hösslin who stated that the ECTDO should discuss an "unilateral intervention in the region" to protect the Aurean Straits. Von Hösslin stated that the Defence Ministry would consider increasing its cooperation with the Council for Mutual Security and Development to counter ROSPO threats.
When the military was set to make over €4 billion worth in cuts for the 2009-2010 fiscal year von Hösslin threatened to resign, eventually comprising to have €3 billion cut from the defence budget and 20,000 redundancies across the branches plus civilian employees at the ministry to be overseen. Some army veterans criticised the defence cuts for undermining Werania's defence, but they were defended by von Hösslin who said that the cuts would encourage the armed forces to move to more efficient forms of defence including upgrading its cyber-warfare capabilities. In 2009 von Hösslin confirmed that Werania would be "ready and willing" to perform a nuclear first strike if the situation demanded it.
The Defence Ministry came under criticism in April 2010 when the Täglicher Beobachter paper published an exposé that detailed endemic hazing, bullying and sexual harassment in the Weranian armed forces. Von Hösslin defended the armed forces stating there was "no proof the army is institutionally engaging in such activates" although did say that the Defence Ministry would investigate such cases. The ministry's investigation that was published in 2012 found that the allegations were largely correct and that as Defence Minister von Hösslin had been "instrumental" in covering up such allegations.
Von Hösslin was criticised in June 2010 when he signed a multi-million missile defence sale to Senria a year after Senria had rejected restrictions on missile development in the 2009 Nuclear Arms Limitation and Non-proliferation Talks. Von Hösslin's defence ministry had previously come under criticism for securing arms deals with Rwizikuru and Yemet both of which were considered to have poor human rights records.
Over Wittmann's term von Hösslin was seen as neither being a core supporter of Wittmann (who were mostly located on the new right faction of the party) nor one of his opponents (who mainly came from the liberal wings). In the 2011 federal election von Hösslin retained his seat in rural Wolfsfled but the NKP as a whole suffered a crushing defeat. Von Hösslin subsequently left the Defence Ministry to sit in the opposition benches in the Volkstag. Assessing his ministerial career journalist Hugo Hochberg stated that in his decade in the federal cabinet von Hösslin had shown that he was "a mediocrity whose hard-right views are obscured over a lack of policy intuition" whilst another commentator, Björn Körver, complimented him for being an "able administer whose rock-solid competence ensured his political survival"
After the election loss outgoing premier and NKP federal president Wittmann announced he would not be running for another term as NKP president when his term was due to expire in July 2012. A leadership contest was arranged for that date amongst a mixture of NKP parliamentarians, provincial delegates and party members. Von Hösslin announced his candidature early with his main opponent being former Finance Minister Roland Kaulbach being his main opponent. Von Hösslin gained the support of social conservatives in the party such as Ulrich Furler whilst Kaulbach was supported by liberal and moderate elements, with his pro-EC views being particularly emphasised.
Neither candidate was however considered to be a frontrunner - whilst von Hösslin was popular amongst the NKP base and membership Kaulbach polled better amongst general voters. Kaulbach was criticised for a stiff speaking style and was seen as arrogant by many in the party whilst von Hösslin was perceived to be to conservative for voters. A prominent section of the party supported drafting the popular Minister-President of Roetenberg, Günter Schaefer, for party leader. Schaefer after deliberation announced he would contest the leadership against Kaulbach and von Hösslin, instantly becoming the front runner. The election held in July 2012 saw Schaefer win with 57% of the electoral college voter with von Hösslin coming second with 35% and Kaulbach third with 8%.
Von Hösslin refused Schaefer's offer to become deputy leader but agreed to become the opposition's spokesman on foreign affairs, seen by many as a major concession to the Euclesceptic wing of the NKP. In his first major policy speech in opposition von Hösslin stated that a NKP-led government would implement a referendum on the Euclo if Werania was forced to finance a bailout for countries such as Amathia. Von Hösslin garnered criticism after in an interview with OBR he was unable to name the Xiaodongese premier Yuan Xiannian.
During Schaefer's leadership von Hösslin was seen as lacking influence as Schaefer was seen to monopolise power amongst his colleagues from Roetenberg. Von Hösslin was said to have called Schaefer a "ratshit" in 2013 after Schaefer reportedly had failed to brief him that the NKP would support the government's embargo of weapons to Bamvango before the NKP announced the policy. Journalists agreed that the working relationship between Schaefer and von Hösslin was poor and that Schaefer was "searching for an excuse to dismiss his foreign policy spokesperson".
During the 2015 federal election von Hösslin played only a small role in the NKP campaign which suffered from the start from poor polling. The election saw the NKP gain only a handful of seats leading to Schaefer to announce that he would not run for another three year term as NKP leader in 2017. However Schaefer came under pressure to hold an early leadership election and in early 2016 resigned causing an early leadership election.
Von Hösslin became the first to announce his candidacy for the leadership and early on was considered the front runner for the role. His main opponents for the leadership was the Minister-President of Prizen Karin Weisskirchen and the former minister of transport Kaspar Ehrmann. Von Hösslin was seen to represent the conservative faction of the party whilst Wiesskirchen represented the party centrists and Ehrmann the liberal faction. A rising populist wing of the party led by Jörg Bullmann strongly supported von Hösslin which resulted in von Hösslin promising if elected to the leadership he would appoint Bullmann deputy leader. The election saw von Hösslin get 42% of the vote, Ehrmann 25% and Weisskirchen 23% in the first round and 73% to Ehrmann's 27% in the second round, enabling him to become NKP leader on the 3 July 2015.
Following his election as NKP president von Hösslin appointed Jörg Bullmann as NKP vice-president. Bullmann was considered the populist wing of the party and so his appointment was meant to herald a shift in the NKP from a more centre-right stance to one based more on right-wing populist national conservatism. This predominantly took a hard line on crime and immigration stating under a NKP-led government tougher restrictions for asylum seekers would be enforced and that the government would take a "zero-tolerance approach" to young and repeat offenders. A rise in crime under the incumbent SRPO-PMZ coalition government alongside high immigration figures enabled these issues to dominate federal politics giving the NKP high approval ratings.
In 2018 the NKP scored two notable victories. The first was the upper house (Herrstag) elections which saw the NKP gain the most seats in the chamber going from 72 to 104 seats. This precipitated the resignation of the premier and SRPO chairman Viktor Oberhauser who was replaced by the Minister-President of Cislania Josef Felder initially saw a rise in support of the SRPO due to Felder's perceived decisive personality. However Felder's departure as Cislania Minister-President led to a decline in support for the SRPO in the province and saw the SRPO defeated at the May 2018 regional elections with the NKP candidate, Bartholomäus Stobrawa, becoming leader. This was seen as doubly benefitting von Hösslin both due to Stobrawa being from the populist faction of the NKP thus vindicating von Hösslin's electoral approach and damaging Felder who as the former Minister-President of the province it's election was seen as a litmus test of his leadership. Following the Cislanian election the SRPO saw it's support collapse in the polls often tying with the Greens whilst the NKP maintained a consistent lead. In July 2018 von Hösslin was elected unopposed to another 3 year term as NKP president.
In November the SRPO received an increase of support in the polls leading to Felder to freeze the Sotirian Democratic Homeland and the Weranic Section of the Workers' International out of budget negotiations in order to lose a budgetary vote and trigger a snap election as budgetary votes are counted as votes of confidence. The move was seen as risky with the PMZ opposing it due to concerns they would lose seats in a snap election. Although the NKP was riding high in the polls von Hösslin did not indicate as to whether the NKP would vote in favour or abstain on the budget, with an abstention vote having resulted in the government being able to pass the budget. The dispute between the SRPO and PMZ led to the plan to collapse with Felder abandoning plans of a snap election after facing substantial resistance. The move was seen as a debacle for Felder undermining his authority with his approval ratings collapsing to the benefit of von Hösslin who had previously scored lower then Felder as preferred premier.
The 2019 federal election saw the NKP run on a platform emphasising limiting immigration, having tougher policies on crime and cutting taxes. The campaign was mainly party based with some media observers noting that von Hösslin eschewed a presidential campaign likely due to his underwhelming personal approval ratings. The attempted assassination of the exiled Tsabaran journalist Jaal al-Obeid led to a raise in support for the NKP due to their tough-on-crime policies being seen as more appealing then other parties.
The election saw the NKP get 13,257,365 votes and 36.61% of the vote, resulting in a numerical increase of seats of 93 seats going from 151 to 244 seats. This was the NKP's highest total number of the vote in it's history and the NKP's best vote percentage and total seat count since the 2003 federal election. As a result of the NKP victory Felder resigned as premier the day after the election although led a demissionary cabinet until a new one was formed. Von Hösslin was appointed as regierungsbildner by Charlotte II on the 2nd June with the responsibility to form a new federal government.
The NKP initially sought to assemble a single-party NKP minority government with confidence and supply from the Democratic Alternative. The DA leader Käthe Schickdanze had pledged to make a balanced budget a red line in coalition talks which had the potential to disrupt the NKP's plans to cut taxes and increase spending. However the DA refused to support a NKP minority government leading to Von Hösslin to offer a coalition agreement instead which would give the DA two cabinet postings - Foreign Affairs and Social Affairs. The DA accepted this proposal on the 27th June with a vote taking place in the Bundestag the same day. The investiture vote was successful in the Volkstag before passing the Herrstag (with the opposition abstaining).
On the 28th June Charlotte II formally appointed the von Hösslin cabinet with von Hösslin as premier and Schickdanze as vice-premier and foreign minister. Von Hösslin balanced his cabinet between NKP factions with moderates like Wolfgang Kanther and Andrea Däubler as Finance and Justice Ministers respectively, conservatives like Ulrich Furler and Andreas Scheel as in charge of Defence and Administrative Affairs and populists like Bullmann and Alexander Oberländer heading the Interior and Economy ministries. Simas Nekrošius, a former television host, was the other DA member appointed to cabinet as Social Affairs Minister.
When coming to power the governing coalition had a majority in the lower house but not in the upper house where they relied on independents and the Sotirian Democratic Homeland to pas legislation. At the January 2021 upper house election the NKP won a majority of the seats they contested giving the government a majority in both the lower and upper house despite losses for the DA.
Upon coming to power von Hösslin confirmed that the government's priority on the economic front would be increase net growth, lower general taxation and remove regulatory barriers on businesses. In his first interview as premier von Hösslin stated the implementation of a 15% flat income tax would be the "number one priority on the fiscal side" and that the government would look to Caldia's model first implemented by Patricia Flowers as a baseline. In August 2020 finance minister Wolfgang Kanther stated that flat tax legislation would likely be introduced in 2022 after the government had passed sufficient reforms to streamline and lower the cost of public services.
In May 2020 the government announced it would sell it's controlling interest in the federal transportation system, the Bundesstaatseisenbahnen (BSB). The Weranian government previously owned 80% of all shares in the BSB but under the new legislation would only own 49% of the company with 31% of the total shares of the company being sold to Weranian investors. The government claimed the privatisation would help reduce BSB's debts (which stood at €40 billion at the time of the sale) and help reorient the company to adopt a more profit-driven commercial strategy. The partial privatisation was heavily opposed by rail unions who claimed it would increase prices and lead to layoffs although transport minister Helmut Schockenhoff stated that the move would not entail either of these. The federal reform of BSB only applied to the company's federal operations and not it's provincial subsidiaries.
At the 2020 budget the von Hösslin government announced a series of tax cuts, most notably a decrease in corporation tax from 25% to 20% and the capital gains tax from 27% to 22%. The finance minister Kanther claimed these tax cuts would boost overall revenue by leading to higher economic growth a view that was criticised by economists. Under the von Hösslin government growth has increased from 1.2% in 2018-19 to 2.9% from 2020-2021 but the national debt has also increased from a debt-to-GDP ratio of gross public debt of 89% in 2018 to 94% in 2020.
In March 2021 Economy and Industry minister Alexander Oberländer proposed to liberalise the electricity market by a combination of the abolition of price controls and breaking up state monopolies by centralising electricity distribution into a single company, the Federal Synchronous Electricity Grid (bundes synchrones stromnetz; BSS) which will work within the Euclean synchronous grid system. The BSS is expected to be created in September 2021 through a merger of state electricity grids.
The von Hösslin government confirmed in 2020 it would aim to repeal legislation introduced in 2006 - known as the Töchterle Package named after it's main advocate Eveline Töchterle - that sought to introduce new regulations for banks following the Euclean financial crisis. The Töchterle Package had been a bipartisan proposal by the NKP government of Rasa Šimonytė and the opposition SRPO then under former finance minister Lothar Holzmeister, although aspects of the legislation was overhauled under the government of Emilia Koopmann. Economy minister Oberländer stated that the legislation had proven to be a "burden on banks and to complex for our regulators to properly enforce" advocating for more simple banking regulations to streamline regulatory bodies.
Environment and energy policy
The NKP electoral programme for the 2019 contained very few commitments regarding the environment with von Hösslin having previously denied the scientific consensus on climate change. Upon coming to power the NKP government scrapped federal renewable energy targets and rejected the implementation of emissions trading schemes that had been proposed by the last government. The NKP government also cut funding for renewable energy projects whilst increasing them for coal, gas and oil companies who received increased subsidies in the 2020 budget.
Since 2008 the Weranian government has agreed to let the Gaullican nuclear energy company Électricité de Gaullica build three new nuclear power plants in Werania after a moratorium on further construction that was in place from 1996 to 2008. Only one of the reactors has been built with the other two still going regulatory procedures. However in 2019 Energy and Environment Minister Martin Stammberger confirmed that the Weranian government would aim to ensure the other two reactors would begin construction no later then 2022.
Upon coming to power von Hösslin pledged that Werania would continue to support the Tuaisceart-Süd 2.0 oil pipeline with Caldia, which had originally been proposed by Viktor Oberhauser and Alexis Walker to compliment the original Tuaisceart-Süd pipeline that was completed in 2004. The project was originally designed to be implemented by the Northern Forum being heavily promoted in the body by Caldish Taoiseach Stiofán Mac Suibhne but came under criticism from other governments such as Azmara. The proposal was subsequently dropped from the Northern Forum's agenda after the Caldish and Weranian legislatures agreed to support the project on a bilateral basis. The pipeline was controversial in Werania with large scale protests being held across the country with the environmental group Aktion Jetzt! claiming ay least 10,000 protesters are protesting in major cities like Wiesstadt, Westbrücken, Kotzenberg and Ostdorf on the 24th April 2020. A May poll showed that 40% of Weranians opposed the pipeline compared to 36% who supported it and 24% who had no opinion. The controversial manner as to how the government handled the pipeline and the alleged lack of concern regarding its environmental implications led to a drop in support for the NKP whilst the Greens overtook the SRPO to become the second largest party.
Under the von Hösslin government the Weranian government has taken a tougher line on immigration into the country in contrast to the relatively liberal policies of the last government. Interior minister Jörg Bullmann stated that the government would seek to end large-scale immigration, particularly from non-Euclean countries and that Weranian asylum policy would focus equally on assimilation and repatriation rather then a multicultural approach. The von Hösslin government has proposed capping non-Euclean migration to under 50,000 a year, particularly from Coius. Von Hösslin stated his government wished to "reduce immigration but in a way that focuses on restricting it from cultures that have greater difficultly integrating into our Euclean way of life rather then untargeted".
In March 2021 Bullmann outlined policies that the government intends to implement to tighten non-EC migration including making knowledge of Weranian mandatory for all potential migrants, restricting the eligibility of marriage visas and introducing restrictions for businesses so they hire less non-EC labour. Bullmann also stated that the immigration system will seek to put adherence to "Weranian values" at the heart of it's immigration policy.
The von Hösslin government since coming to power have aimed to reform Werania's social insurance and labour union systems. In November 2019 the government passed a reform of the social security including centralising the welfare system around the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and removing much of the eligibility of non-EC citizens to apply for welfare. The government's flagship reform was the Family First Initiative which allowed families to receive a tax-free benefit of €150 per month for the second and any consecutive children until they reach the age of 18. Families are also eligible to receive the benefit for their first child if the family income is under €200 per family member. The reforms were intended to promote larger families and allow younger couples more financial assistance to encourage them to raise a first child.
In October 2019 the government also sought to promote healthcare reform, passing the Healthcare Choice and Provision Law. The law overhauled how the federal government organised financing of bundesländer on healthcare matters requiring the bundesländer to allot 20% of all healthcare spending to private institutions and introduced thresholds for bundesländer to meet on healthcare targets in order to promote competition within the healthcare sector. The law however has been criticised by the bundesländer governments with some such as the Ruttish one committing to challenging the law in court for intervening in policy sectors that are the sole responsibility of the bundesländer. In 2020 the von Hösslin government passed the Pharmaceutical Regulation and Use Law that deregulated the use of experimental drugs for trials and treatments. The law attracted some controversy as the law allowed alternative medicinal practitioners wider access to use these drugs highlighting concerns of them using such drugs as "miracle cures". The health minister Sabrine Dümmler defended both laws on the grounds they increased choice and streamlined bureaucratic systems within the healthcare sector benefitting consumers and taxpayers.
In spring 2020 Social Affairs minister Simas Nekrošius proposed major reforms to the labour market including making it easier for workers' to change jobs and for employers to hire and fire workers' whilst reducing trade union representatives in business-worker negotiations. The government has also pledged to implement measures that allow employers to temporarily cut workers' salaries or hours in times of financial stress, a law that had previously been proposed by the former SRPO-PMZ government but was voted down after trade union protests. The second largest trade union federation in Werania, the Weranian Federation of Workers' (OAV), have criticised the proposed labour reforms on the grounds they will increase unemployment and reduce wages.
In response to concerns about rising crime in Werania including the role of terrorism the government introduced a law that allowed the federal police to search homes, restrict movement, close places of worship and search areas around train stations as well as international ports and airports. The law was controversial when introduced with human rights campaigners alleging that the law contravened civil rights and would undermine liberties.
In 2021 the von Hösslin government supported the ECDTO mission to Tsabara after the Gaullican government announced they would joining a mission that had been spearheaded by Estmere in 2020 to support the Tsabaran government in the Tsabaran Civil War. As part of this support the Weranian government confirmed a €2.1 billion arms deal with Tsabara providing the country with light armoured vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems and heavy machine guns. Von Hösslin stated that ensuring a stable Tsabara was crucial to securing Euclean security policy, highlighting the importance of the Aurean Straits for Euclea's economic security.
Upon coming to power von Hösslin was seen to align Werania much more closely to Estmere, Etruria and Senria whereas the previous government had prioritised relations with Gaullica. Commentators remarked that von Hösslin and the NKP generally had adopted a much more Euclesceptic foreign policy then the outgoing SRPO with von Hösslin supporting Estmerish Prime Minister Reginald Wilton-Smyth's move to reform aspects of the Euclean Central Bank and the Zilverzee area within the Euclean Community. Both von Hösslin and Wilton-Smyth were seen as firm supporters of the "Alte Bruderschaft" between their two countries and under their tenures military and intelligence cooperation has increased. In 2020 von Hösslin stated he agreed with the sentiment behind Wilton-Smyth's "Axis of evil" speech.
Under von Hösslin Werania underwent rapprochement with Etruria. From 2016-19 the Weranian government had been critical of the Tribune Movement under Francesco Carcaterra particularly over concerns that the Carcaterra government was limiting freedom of speech particularly following the 2018 Etrurian student protests. The NKP in opposition however had made links with the Tribunes particularly following the collapse of the centre-right Etrurian Federalist Party and upon coming to power advocated within the EC a more dovish policy to Etruria. The von Hösslin government was seen as crucial for facilitating Etrurian-EC reconciliation from 2019 onwards with increased defence and economic cooperation being pursued between the two.
Conversely Werania's relationship with its neighbours have been more contested under von Hösslin whose lessened support for Euclean integration has at times strained relations with nations with centre-left governments such as Azmara, Gaullica, Caldia and after 2020 Alsland. At the 2020 IES Baiqiao Summit for example Werania underwent criticism from Gaullican officials for alongside Estmere blocking action on climate change despite Euclean officials such as Alexis Walker and Niina Hermansdohter making the issue a priority within their agenda. Von Hösslin had additionally criticised the appointment of Hermansdohter over former premier Rasa Šimonytė a High Commissioner. Nevertheless von Hösslin has continued having Werania meet prior Euclean commitments and has rejected more openly Eucleceptic policies proposed by Foreign Affairs Minister Käthe Schickdanze.
In the 2019 election the von Hösslin government promised to veto new entrants for the EC for the 2019-2024 EC parliamentary term, with the policy being reaffirmed following the inauguration of the NKP-DA coalition. The von Hösslin government stated this stance is due to concerns that new EC members would lead to higher immigration and social dumping which the government stated occured when Amathia and Paretia were admitted to the bloc. This stance has been criticised by the governments of Piraea and Slirnia both of whom have aspirations to join the bloc.
The Tsabaran Civil War has seen the Weranian government support the Tsabaran government under Nazim al-Qutayni with the Weranian government supporting the coalition between al-Qutayni's allies and Atudite parties. The Weranian government supported the multilateral ECTDO mission in 2021 that sought to expand Estmerish air support to also include Weranian and Gaullican involvement. Von Hösslin's government however has been said to be lukewarm on cooperation between the Tsabaran government and the left-wing Popular Front which has hampered some cooperation, with the Weranian Defence Ministry failing to approve of the sale of missiles to Tsabaran forces. In 2020 Werania supported the readmittance of Tsabara into the International Council for Democracy.
Von Hösslin's government has promoted closer ties with Senria on defence and economic issues. In 2020 the von Hösslin government promoted closer security links between Werania and the Sangang Mutual Security Organization (SAMSO), a security organisation that includes Senria, Kuthina, Chanda and Baekjeong. However Werania has been less approving of potential trade deals between the EC and the Council for Mutual Development (COMDEV) as well as the Bashurat Cooperation Organization (BCO), two regional economic and security organisations in Coius that include Senria and several other Coian and Satrian nations on the grounds that such deals would undermine the Weranian economy.
Comparatively von Hösslin has sought to promote more neutralist relations with Xiaodong and Zorasan. Whilst supporting Estmere in the 2019 Estmere-Zorasan Crisis Werania under von Hösslin has still emphasised economic links with Zorasan and Xiaodong, particularly in the energy and industrial sectors. Nevertheless in 2019 Foreign Affairs Minister Käthe Schickdanze reaffirmed that Werania would continue to enforce sanctions on Xiaodong regarding human right abuses stemming from Normalisation.
Von Hösslin has promoted a relatively hawkish policy in Bahia supporting the continued deployment of peacekeepers in combat zones in Mabifia, Yemet and Bamvango. Schickdanze has called for Euclean and Asterian countries to be more willing to pursue interventionism in order to safeguard human rights and economic development in Bahia. Von Hösslin has accused Dezevau of destabilising Bahian countries through an aggressive foreign policy. Von Hösslin's government has rejected apologies or reparations for Bahian countries such as Yemet or Maucha regarding Weranian colonial crimes with von Hösslin stating he wanted to focus on the future not the past.
The von Hösslin government ended moves pursued by the former government over reconciliation with nations within the Association for International Socialism, notably Kirenia and Chistovodia. The Weranian government has joined other Asterian countries such as Satucin, Marchenia and Eldmark over Chistovodian naval maneuverers within the Arucian. The von Hösslin government has called for improving ties with the North Vehemens Organization and supportes a free trade deal with ASTCOM.
Under von Hösslin the Weranian government has continued the previous governments relatively critical stance towards Soravia and the Samorspi organisation as a whole accusing the Soravian government of undermining democracy in western Euclea including in Vedmed and the Soravian region of Zalykia. The Weranian government also criticised the extension of a Zakhaz pipeline through Etruria to Galenia.
Human right activists have criticised Weranian foreign policy under von Hösslin for ignoring human rights and placing business interests first particularly regarding Senria, Tsabara, Etruria and Bahia. The von Hösslin government has rejected this criticism stating it is committed to improving human rights worldwide.
Political views and public image
Von Hösslin has generally been seen as a conservative figure particularly in social affairs. He has been described as being aligned with the neoconservative movement in Werania which emphasises national conservatism combined with economic liberalism although is seen to focus more on socially conservative causes then economic liberalisation. Following his election as NKP leader von Hösslin has been accused of becoming more in favour of using right-wing populist and Eucleaspectic rhetoric.
Von Hösslin has been noted to have average personal approving ratings and is not seen as a particularly charismatic leader. Polling company Weranian Politics Review noted that von Hösslin is seen more as serious and trustworthy rather then charismatic with his approval rating being similar to his party's overall rather then noticeably higher or lower.
For most of his political career von Hösslin was identified as being in favour of economic liberalism supporting deregulation, privatisation and low taxation. Within the NKP von Hösslin has been identified as being within the neoliberal faction supporting tax cuts and liberalisation measures in contrast to fiscal conservatives who primarily focus on balancing the budget and are considered more corporatist in character and the populists who favour large-scale spending and economic interventionism. In government however von Hösslin has supported a mixture of neoliberal and populist policies. This has most strikingly been seen in a shift towards greater economic nationalism.
Von Hösslin in 2020 proposed that each job seeker should be offered vocational training and be forced to accept the employment offered to them after training in order to combat unemployment. He has stated that Werania's problem with high unemployment stem from overly powerful trade union influence.
On most social issues von Hösslin is considered to be conservative. He has previously voiced support for banning abortion although has since moderated this stance to supporting it only in the cases of a threat to a women's life or rape. Upon becoming premier von Hösslin stated he did not plan to change current federal abortion laws but has committed to cutting funding for abortion clinics in the country.
Von Hösslin is considered to be a conservative on LBGT+ rights, favouring traditional conceptions of gender and sexuality norms. In 1992 shortly after being elected to the Volkstag von Hösslin supported banning open homosexuals from being employed in teaching stating they would act as "propagandists for the destruction of the family". Von Hösslin also attributed the low birthrate of Werania during this period due to the "pervasive influence of gay ideology amongst the youth". In 2005 von Hösslin claimed that "homosexual conduct was a choice, more an ideology then anything else, and certainly not a biological process" and called for schools to restrict teaching on LGBT+ issues. In 2016 von Hösslin refused to retract these comments, stating he simply "regretted that some have taken offence to my opinions". Von Hösslin opposed the legislation of same-sex marriage in 2013, calling it a "crime against nature". Nevertheless in 2019 von Hösslin stated if he became premier he would not repeal same-sex marriage stating the focus should be encouraging healthy relationships. Von Hösslin has proposed however to restrict gay adoption saying he wants to put children first. In response to the creation of LGBT+ free zones in Etruria von Hösslin strongly condemned calls to create similar such zones in Werania.
Immigration and multicultralism
Von Hösslin has vocally criticised multicultralism and has criticised the notion that Werania is a nation of immigrants. Von Hösslin has stated that attempts to create a multicultural society in Werania is "contrary to history" and has stated immigrants must assimilate into Weranian culture by embracing Weranian values. Von Hösslin has stated that the Euclean Community is to liberal in it's immigration policy and has called for substantial reductions in non-Euclean migration in order to "preserve the Euclean way of life". Von Hösslin has linked liberal immigration policies with economic insecurity and violent crime and has proposed capping non-Euclean migration to 50,000 a year.
Von Hösslin opposed Etruria becoming a member of the Euclean Community stating it neither had strong democratic institutions nor the fiscal stability to function properly as a member of the bloc. He has been critical of other south Euclean countries such as Piraea, Galenia and Slirnia joining the bloc for similar reasons.
Regarding the EC as a whole von Hösslin has supported a souverainiste doctrine, stating he supports a "Euclea of nations" rather then a supranational Euclea. Nevertheless he has criticised proposals for Werania to leave the Euclo or the EC as a whole stating that it is more feasible to reorient the EC to it's "original vision" of being founded on shared Sotirian heritage.
Von Hösslin has spoken in favour of an interventionist foreign policy, stating Werania and it's allies have to do so due to the threat posed by countries such as Chistovodia, Xiaodong and Zorasan. Because of this von Hösslin supported Reginald Wilton-Smyth's Axis of evil speech in 2020.
Von Hösslin married his wife Julia Neumark, a biology teacher, in 1974. They together have 3 children - Friedrich, a local politician in Malstadt; Klemens, a financial analyst; and Natalie, a veterinary nurse. His first grandchild, a girl, was born in 2014. He is a fan of F.C Malstadt-Bach, one of the two football clubs from the city, often regularly seeing them play.