Parties: No invitation: Schröder is not allowed to attend the SPD party conference

Parties: No invitation: Schröder is not allowed to attend the SPD party conference

Because of his closeness to Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, the Social Democrats have largely distanced themselves from their former chancellor. The upcoming party conference will probably also take place without Gerhard Schröder.

The SPD leadership will not invite former Chancellor and party leader Gerhard Schröder to the federal party conference in December. “We will keep it the way we did it now at the celebration of the 160th anniversary of the SPD,” said party leader Saskia Esken of the German Press Agency. Unlike other ex-party leaders, Schröder did not receive an invitation to the anniversary ceremony last Tuesday at the party headquarters in Berlin.

It is also a tradition at party conferences for former party leaders to be invited. After his chancellorship, Schröder attended a number of conferences of the highest party body and even spoke as a speaker – most recently in 2017. At the next party conference from December 8th to 10th in Berlin, he will have to stay outside. “I can no longer recognize the former chancellor and former party chairman in Gerhard Schröder. I see him as a businessman who pursues his business interests,” said Esken.

Schröder, who is now 79, was chancellor from 1998 to 2005 and party chairman from 1999 to 2004. After being voted out as head of government, he worked for Russian energy companies for many years and is still considered a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, from whom he did not break away even after the Russian attack on Ukraine. A few weeks after the war began, Schröder even visited Putin in Moscow – allegedly to mediate.

After the Russian invasion, the party leadership repeatedly distanced itself from Schröder and declared him isolated in the party. However, a party exclusion procedure initiated by 17 party branches failed. For Esken, the discussion about Schröder is now over. “The SPD has important tasks as a party and as a leading coalition partner – we are developing our program and getting involved in the work of the coalition. In this respect, we have more important things to do than talking about Gerhard Schröder.”

Source: Stern

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