First the Union, now also the traffic light: For former Chancellor Schröder, the proximity to the Russian warmonger Putin will have consequences. Because after the Union announced an application to remove almost all of Schröder’s official equipment, the government factions want to follow suit.
Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD), who has been criticized for his closeness to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, must expect his appointments as former head of government to be cut. SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich announced on Tuesday in Berlin that the coalition parliamentary groups would make a motion for the upcoming deliberations in the budget committee at the end of the week.
The traffic light groups are thus reacting to an initiative by the Union as part of the deliberations on the 2022 budget. “We will launch an independent proposal for the office of the former Chancellor in the budget committee,” said Mützenich. It should be about a budget note that should be presented at the end of the week in the so-called adjustment meeting of the committee on the federal budget for the current year. Furthermore, Mützenich did not comment on the content.
Green party leader Britta Haßelmann spoke out in favor of a general new regulation for the equipment paid for by the state for former chancellors. “Clear rules” are needed on this question, she said in Berlin. The coalition factions are currently working on a proposal that they would “certainly present shortly”. The fact that there is a need for action here is a “clear view” within the traffic light – “independent of Gerhard Schröder as a person”.
FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr campaigned for a regulation that would be supported by “all democratic forces in the Bundestag”. The official appointments granted so far are based solely on “state practice” and would have to be checked, said Dürr. A regulation is needed in particular on the question of how long former chancellors should be entitled to equipment.
The Union had previously announced that it wanted to almost completely eliminate Schröder’s official appointments because of his contacts with Russia. The parliamentary group’s budget holders want to make corresponding applications this week in the last committee meetings on the 2022 federal budget. The corresponding application is available to FOCUS Online. In addition to five employee positions, the budget for pension benefits and travel expenses are also to be cut. Schröder should only be allowed to keep personal security.
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Schröder is a shame for the country and Germany’s international reputation, the householders justify the applications, reports the DPA news agency. The applications should therefore be dealt with on Wednesday and Thursday in the so-called clean-up meeting of the budget committee. Despite the war in Ukraine, Schröder has still not distanced himself from Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the same time, he is sticking to his posts in various Russian energy companies. “Retired Chancellor Schröder is thus on the wrong side of history,” write the householders, according to the DPA.
“Gerhard Schröder and his statements are on the border of unbearable,” said deputy Union parliamentary group leader Alexander Dobrindt to FOCUS Online will.”
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Your applications are not the first attempts to cut state support for Schröder because of his closeness to Russia. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) called for his office to be deleted. Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) at least questioned the staffing of the office. Last year, 407,000 euros flowed from the state treasury for personnel expenses in the office of the former chancellor. There was also a push from the Union to take away Schröder’s income from his work for Russian energy companies.
Schröder was Chancellor from 1998 to 2005. He then took on tasks for Nord Stream AG, the Russian Gazprom and the energy company Rosneft, among others. Because he did not distance himself from this after the beginning of the war, the SPD leadership asked him to leave the party. There are also motions for expulsion from the party.