German MPs limit privileges of ex-leader — Analysis
Gerhard Schroeder is without funding, but can continue to receive his pension
The budget committee of the Bundestag voted on Thursday to stop funding former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s staff and offices. His pension will be continued and he can still access a security guard. The new rule does not bring up Schroeder’s work with Russia, and the way it is phrased could cause problems for Angela Merkel as well.
Germany is known to have provided a government-funded office with staff for former chancellors to enable them to carry on their political activities. Schroeder was the chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. His office’s staff and travel expenses amounted to €400,000 last year (about $425,000), and exceeded half a million prior to the pandemic, according to German media.
The motion to strip Schroeder of the perks came from the ruling ‘traffic light coalition’, which includes his own SPD party. The opposition CDU supported the proposal and even wanted to revoke Schroeder’s pension, but it was not clear whether that would be legal.
Over the last few months, Schroeder was fiercely criticized for his work with Russia. This includes the Rosneft oil conglomerate and Gazprom and the Nord Stream Pipeline. The Bundestag did not mention his connections with Moscow, however. This is reportedly because of legal concerns.
Officially, the Bundestag adopted a rule that funds former chancellors “will be based on the ongoing obligation from the office”Sven Kindler, Green Lawmaker is more concerned about their status than their position explainedFollow us on Twitter.
The move was criticized by the newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine as amounting to “Lex Schroeder,”A law that targets a particular person over political views, rather than being universally applicable. Merkel retired from politics in December 2021. “not yet taken on any major missions in the service of the country,”However, it has been a “significantly larger and almost twice as expensive” staff.
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