Minister Axel Wintermeyer at the Landesausstellung

On Sunday I was invited to accompany Staatsminister (Minister of State) Axel Wintermeyer around the Landesausstellung (County Show) at the Hessentag as part of the press pack. Minister Wintermeyer is head of the State Chancellery.

Ironically, I was one of the few to take advantage of the invitation, the irony of the situation being that it was his department that refused my press accreditation only a few days beforehand!

Minister Wintermeyer with his staff in Hall 1 at the Hessentag in Oberursel

Minister Wintermeyer with his staff and a Hessen mug in Hall 1

The Minister started his tour at his own department’s stand in Hall 1, where visitors were being offered a mug with the Hessian coat of arms on it in return for a donation of at least €2.  The funds raised are due to be donated to the Oberurseler Werkstätten (workshops for the disabled).

From there he went to see a project by the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt for carers.  There, he was shown the mobile video telephone – a screen and webcam on wheels that can be remote controlled by a carer, but only once the person being cared for has accepted the incoming call.  The system works on Voice-over-IP technology.  It also allows family and friends of those who are bedridden to stay in contact better, especially if they live further away.

Minister Wintermeyer visiting the Hauptzollamt Giessen stand at the Hessentag in Oberursel

Minister Wintermeyer visiting the Hauptzollamt Giessen stand

Entering Hall 2, the Minister first visited the Hauptzollamt Gießen (Customs and Excise) where he was informed about the latest drug smuggling trends and the particular problems posed by people ordering medicine online from non-German websites.

After taking part in the PR project for the Metropolregion FrankfurtRheinMain he visited the German Red Cross’ stand where we was given information on the problems of alcohol and drug addiction.

Minister Wintermeyer at the Red Cross stand in Hall 2 of the Landesausstellung

Minister Wintermeyer at the Red Cross stand

Continuing through the hall he visited the VdK Hessen Thüringen, the chamber of tax advisors and the Unfallkasse Hessen where he tried out the large wall jigsaw.

At the Deutsche Bahn shop he was shown the model railway items for sale, joking about their punctuality, before finishing the tour of the hall at the Limburg land registry office who were demonstrating they GeoData services.

Minister Wintermeyer at the wall jigsaw puzzle in Hall 2 of the Landesausstellung

Minister Wintermeyer at the wall jigsaw puzzle in Hall 2

Minister Wintermeyer then left Hall 2 and concluded outside where he visited a collection of electric cars.

It was certainly interesting to follow the Minister around, and to observe how he was prepared to detour from the planned route if he saw someone he knew or something that interested him.


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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