Former German head of government, Gerhard Schröder, is set to lose certain post-office privileges due to his continued links with Russian energy companies amidst the Ukraine war. The Bundestag’s budgetary committee has decided to strip Schröder of his office and staff, which cost approximately €419,000 in taxpayers’ money in 2021. The motion was supported by Schröder’s own Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens, and the Free Democratic Party (FDP).
The motion does not directly address Schröder’s connections with the Kremlin or his stance on the Ukraine war, most likely to avoid legal challenges. Instead, it argues that the former leader no longer fulfills any continuing obligation as a statesperson and therefore does not require an office and staff.
The main opposition party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), backed the move but also called for the government to cut Schröder’s pension, equivalent to an annual salary of about €100,000. Schröder will retain his pension payments and security detail. The four employees at Schröder’s office resigned in early March, after he showed no intention of stepping down from boardroom roles at Russian oil company Rosneft and pipeline company Nord Stream.