Stoiber steps aside and ends era in Germany
An era in German politics ended at the weekend when Edmund Stoiber exited national politics, leaving the future of wealthy Bavaria in the hands of the country's toughest law-and-order ?politician.
Mr Stoiber, premier of the southern German state since 1993, was central in building one of Europe's most powerful regional economies, attracting thousands of hi-tech, engineering and media companies and reducing unemployment to half the national average.
Delegates from his Christian Social Union gave him a warm send-off at a weekend congress in Munich even though his departure - first announced in January - was tinged with anger. He was forced to step down earlier than planned after mishandling a scandal and alienating many CSU members.