On 24 October 2017, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier relieved Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble from office at Schäuble’s own request. This was occasioned by Schäuble’s election as President of the German Bundestag. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Peter Altmaier, Minister for Special Tasks and Head of the Federal Chancellery, to run the Finance Ministry’s affairs on an interim basis until a successor is appointed.
The acting Federal Finance Minister will be supported by the ministry’s three permanent state secretaries (Werner Gatzer, Johannes Geismann and Thomas Steffen) and two parliamentary state secretaries (Michael Meister and Jens Spahn). In terms of legal status, the latter became parliamentary state secretaries to the Federal Minister for Special Tasks on 24 October 2017, but they will continue to work at the Federal Finance Ministry.