German Vice-Chancellor takes time off to pick up daughter

As far as headlines go, it’s a pretty crummy one. I mean, should it even be news that a father picks up his daughter… even less so when you realise that the news is that he intends to pick her up just once a week. But sadly this non-story has made the headlines in the German national press, the international press, and even on the BBC World Service newshour this morning.

In an interview at the weekend with the German tabloid newspaper Bild, Sigmar Gabriel, the german vice-chancellor, and the second most powerful person in politics in Germany said “my wife has a job, and on Wednesdays it’s my turn to pick up our daughter from nursery. And I’m looking forward to it”.

There has been widespread support for Sigmar’s bold move – with the positive comments centred around the fact that someone in a highly visible, highly important and demanding job, can find ways of making time for his child. Not everyone is in favour though, with Die Welt’s op-ed criticising the concept of part-time ministers “Those who aim for an exceptional career, be it in politics, business or professional sport … should know that it can only work with 100% commitment.”. Der Spiegel was more in favour though “The days when only childless female politicians like Angela Merkel could make it to the top are over.”.