Schröder example "unnecessary": Traffic light wants to regulate equipment for former chancellor

What office equipment are ex-chancellors entitled to at government expense? There is no legal regulation for this.

Schröder example "unnecessary": Traffic light wants to regulate equipment for former chancellor

What office equipment are ex-chancellors entitled to at government expense? There is no legal regulation for this. The traffic light wants to change that, according to the Greens and the FDP. The Union wants to eliminate almost all privileges for Schröder in the 2023 budget. Criticism has been raised against this extra treatment.

Against the background of the debate about former chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his privileges, the traffic light coalition wants to soon regulate the rules for state-funded equipment for former chancellors. "Clear rules are needed" on this issue, said Britta Haßelmann, leader of the Greens parliamentary group. FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr campaigned for a regulation that would be supported by "all democratic forces in the Bundestag". So far there has been no legal basis for the question of what equipment - such as office space and employees - former chancellors are entitled to at state expense. 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. Haßelmann said 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," said Hasselmann.

The initiative of the Union, which former Chancellor Schröder wanted to remove a large part of the equipment, was not needed, she said. However, the CDU/CSU are stepping up the pace on the issue: they want to push through deletions for Schröder in the final deliberations in the budget committee on the 2023 budget this week.

Left parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch spoke out in favor of legally regulating the office equipment for former chancellors. He rejects a regulation that is only tailored to Schröder, even if he has "zero sympathy" for the former head of government, said Bartsch.

While the pensions of the Federal President and members of the Federal Cabinet are regulated by law, the provision of offices and staff is based on decisions by the Budget Committee of the Bundestag. Gerhard Schröder is currently entitled to nine positions for his former chancellor's office, for which 407,000 euros flowed from the state coffers last year, according to the Bundestag. Many of the positions are currently vacant because employees resigned after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The debate about cutting Schröder's equipment was mainly sparked by his commitment to Russia. Schröder has not only maintained friendly contacts with the Russian head of state Vladimir Putin for years, but is also chairman of the shareholders' committee of Nord Stream AG and chairman of the supervisory board of the Russian state energy company Rosneft. Schröder is also running for a post on the board of directors of the state-owned Russian energy company Gazprom.


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