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Monday, January 30, 2023

Germany to cut Schröder’s state privileges amid Russia scandal

PoliticsGermany to cut Schröder's state privileges amid Russia scandal

Berlin (The Times Groupe)- Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder will lose his taxpayer-funded office and staff due to his business and political ties to Russia, the German parliament announced on Thursday.

Sven Kindler, a Green party lawmaker, wrote on Twitter that the Bundestag’s budgetary committee decided that former chancellors’ offices will be provided based on their “ongoing obligations in the office and not based on their status.”

Schröder will be stripped of his office and staff, which cost €407,000 (roughly $425,000) last year and more than half a million euros in 2017.

Conservative opposition members, however, have said that the former chancellor should lose his pension, which equals a salary of around €100,000 (roughly $105,000).

Several questioned whether this step would be legal under broader German pension law.

Germany’s chancellors typically receive a state-funded office, a staff, and a pension when they step down from office.

Schröder’s critics claim he has not distanced himself sufficiently from his business ties with Russia and President Vladimir Putin, whom Schröder still considers a close friend.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner told Germany’s Welt TV that it is not possible for a former chancellor to keep his office despite “openly supporting the criminal rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

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