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A member of the CSU since 1966, he was a deputy in the Augsburg county council from 1972 to 1998 and a member of the Bavarian Landtag from 1978 to 1986. He is a member of the executive committee of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag and served as its Parliamentary Secretary from May 1992 to January 1998. Since 1987 he has been a directly elected member of the Bundestag since 1987 representing the constituency of Augsburg-Land in Bavaria. In the last Kohl cabinet he was Federal Minister for Regional Planning, Building and Urban Development. During his tenure before his election as Vice President of the Bundestag he served on several important committees including transport, economics and technology and finance.