Two high profile ministers quits their posts yesterday (9 January) despite initially being backed by chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, a move apparently designed to overcome what local papers are calling a "government crisis" over BSE. Consumer, media and opposition accusations of complacency over mad cow disease and its human brain wasting equivalent vCJD had been levelled at health minister Andrea Fischer and agriculture minister Karl-Heinz Funke for some time, but their sudden departure has left Schroeder under pressure to find replacements and under scrutiny for his own judgement.