Torsten Albig (born 25 May 1963) is a German politician from the Social Democratic Party of Germany. From 2012 until 2017 he served as the 13th Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein.
Early life and education
Albig grew up in Ostholstein and Bielefeld. After graduating from high school in 1982, he first studied history and social sciences at the University of Bielefeld but later changed to law.
Lord Mayor of Kiel, 2009-2012
From 2009 to 2012 Albig was the Lord Mayor of Kiel, the state capital of Schleswig-Holstein.
Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein, 2012-2017
Torsten Albig was appointed candidate for Minister-President, representing his party, the SPD, in 2011 after a member's decision. At the election in 2012, SPD achieved 30.4% of the votes, not enough to beat the ruling CDU that got 30.8% of the popular vote. SPD and CDU achieved 22 seats each, and the election result made it possible for Albig to form a coalition government with the participation of the Green Party and the SSW, which is a regional party representing the Danish and Frisian minorities. The three parties have a narrow majority in the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein with 35 of 69 seats. At the appointment in parliament though, he got 37 of 69 possible votes. The new-formed government of Schleswig-Holstein consisting of SPD, The Green Party and the SSW has never been seen before in German history.
Albig succeeded Peter Harry Carstensen in the position as Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein. He served as an SPD delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in 2012 and 2017.
In the negotiations to form a Grand Coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU together with the Bavarian CSU) and the SPD following the 2013 federal elections, Albig was part of the SPD delegation in the working group on transport, building and infrastructure, led by Peter Ramsauer and Florian Pronold.
In 2015, Albig – alongside First Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz – negotiated a restructuring deal with the European Commission that allowed the German regional lender HSH Nordbank to offload 6.2 billion euros in troubled assets – mainly non-performing ship loans – onto its government majority owners and avoid being shut down, saving around 2,500 jobs.
Life after politics
Since 2018, Albig has been serving as Vice President Corporate Representation of Deutsche Post in Brussels.
- HSH Nordbank Art Foundation, vice chairman of the board of trustees
- Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, chairman of the board of trustees (-2017)
- University Medical Center Schleswig Holstein, ex-officio chairman of the board of trustees (-2017)
- Förde Sparkasse, ex-officio member of the supervisory board (2008–2010)
Albig is married and has two children.