Gerhard Schroeder has lost funds for his office and staff, but will have to keep his pension
The Bundestag’s budget committee on Thursday voted to cut off funding for former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s staff and office. He will continue to receive his pension and get detailed access to security. The new rules do not address Schroeder’s work with Russia, and the way it is framed could cause problems for Angela Merkel as well.
Former German chancellors have a tradition of providing state-funded offices and staff so that they can continue their political work. Schroeder, now 78, was Chancellor from 1998 to 2005. According to German media, his office staff and travel expenses were 400,000 euros (about $ 425,000) last year and exceeded half a million before the epidemic.
The proposal to snatch Schroeder’s benefits comes from the ruling Traffic Light Coalition, which has its own SPD team. The opposition CDU supported the proposal and even sought to withdraw Schroeder’s pension, but it was unclear whether it would be legal.
Schroeder has been sharply criticized over the past few months for working with Russia on oil and gas companies Rosneft and Gazprom and the Nord Stream pipeline. His connection to Moscow was not mentioned by the Bundestag, but is said to be due to legal concerns.
Officially, the Bundestag has passed a rule that finances former chancellors “Based on ongoing obligations from the office” Rather than their status, Green lawmaker Sven Kindler Explained On Twitter.
The newspaper Augsburger Allgemein criticized the move “Lex Schroeder,” A law targets a particular person over political opinion rather than universally enforcing it. The newspaper noted that Merkel, who retired in December 2021 “I have not yet taken on any major mission in the service of the country.” But there is one “Significantly larger and almost twice as expensive” Staff.
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