The former Saxony-Anhalt Finance Minister Jens Bullerjahn (SPD) is dead. The 60-year-old died on Saturday in a hospital in Eisleben (Mansfeld-Südharz district), as a government spokesman and Bullerjahn’s former State Secretary Jörg Felgner (SPD) told the German Press Agency confirmed on Saturday evening. Born in Halle, Bullerjahn was finance minister in Saxony-Anhalt from 2006 to 2016.

Saxony-Anhalt’s former Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Jens Bullerjahn is dead. This is reported by the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, which appears in Halle. The social democrat died on Saturday afternoon in a clinic in Eisleben (Mansfeld-Südharz district) as a result of a serious and rare illness at the age of 60. This was confirmed by his former State Secretary Jörg Felgner when asked by the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung. It is said that Bullerjahn passed away peacefully in the presence of his closest family.

The married father of two adult sons was one of the most prominent politicians in Saxony-Anhalt after reunification. In his last interview with the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung last May, the SPD politician made it public that he suffers from the rare nervous disease ALS. It is an incurable degenerative disease of the nervous system that leads to muscle wasting. “This is a special feature of my illness: there is no hope for a cure. You have to deal with that,” said Bullerjahn.

The trained electrical engineer had worked as an engineer for process automation in the Mansfeld combine before reunification. After reunification he went into politics, became a member of the municipal and district councils and was a member of the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt for 16 years. As parliamentary manager in the second half of the 1990s, he was one of the fathers of the Magdeburg model, the toleration of an SPD-led state government by the then PDS. He was temporarily leader of the state parliamentary group and deputy federal chairman of the SPD. Bullerjahn attracted nationwide attention with the visionary financial concept “Saxony-Anhalt 2020”. In 2006 and 2011 he was his party’s top candidate in the state elections and in the meantime had hopes of moving into the state chancellery as prime minister.

In 2006 he became Finance Minister under Prime Minister Wolfgang Böhmer (CDU). During his ten-year term as minister and deputy head of government, Bullerjahn prescribed a strict consolidation course for the federal state in the fight against increasing national debt. He finally managed to ensure that Saxony-Anhalt did not have to take on any new debts, repay loans and was even able to build up reserves in the hundreds of millions. However, the massive cuts in public service jobs and structural reforms in the state administration also earned him the accusation of “saving the country to pieces”.

In his last interview with the MZ, Bullerjahn explained his political course as follows: “I have always said in the cabinet and in the state parliament: What concerns me most is the question of whether money is being spent effectively. When a system doesn’t work, the reaction in politics is too often to simply spend more money. My aim is to suggest whether things can be done differently and better.” Bullerjahn says he is at peace with himself. And the following applies: “You can’t solve the problems with more and more money, especially not in Saxony-Anhalt.”