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People: Schröder turns 80: Party in Berlin – no celebration with Putin

People: Schröder turns 80: Party in Berlin – no celebration with Putin

On his 70th birthday, former Chancellor Schröder was honored with a reception by the SPD – and with a party with Putin in St. Petersburg. The 80th is now celebrated in a completely different way.

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder will be given a party in Berlin by his wife Soyeon Schröder-Kim for his 80th birthday in April, which will have a few surprises in store for him. Among other things, the guest list should remain under wraps until the very end. “My wife does that and it’s a secret,” said Schröder in an interview with dpa. “I know that friends will definitely be invited. But I don’t know any more details.”

Schröder turns 80 on April 7th. The celebration in Berlin is not scheduled to take place until almost three weeks later on April 27th. The Schröders do not disclose the location. “Because the celebration and the design are my surprise gift for my husband, I can’t tell you anything about it at the moment,” Schröder-Kim told dpa. But she is working “at full speed” on preparing for the celebration.

Putin isn’t coming – because of an arrest warrant

Even if the guest list is still secret, one of Schröder’s friends will certainly not be on it: Russian President Vladimir Putin. He would have to expect arrest in Germany because of an international arrest warrant. For Schröder’s 60th birthday, Putin traveled to Hanover with a Cossack choir – at that time, Schröder was still Chancellor and Putin was a member of the G8 along with the leading Western heads of state and government.

Unlike his 70th birthday, Schröder is not planning to travel to Russia to celebrate with Putin. “It doesn’t look like that,” Schröder told the dpa in response to a question and added: “There is no reason to make my 80th birthday a political event, and I don’t plan to talk about private matters on the occasion of my birthday .” In 2014, shortly after the Russian annexation of Crimea, the former Chancellor celebrated his 70th birthday with Putin at a Nord Stream AG reception in the Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg.

Schröder maintains his friendship with Putin

Schröder has been friends with Putin since he was chancellor from 1998 to 2005 and continues to work for the predominantly Russian companies that run the Nord Stream pipelines through the Baltic Sea. Although he has called the Russian attack on Ukraine a mistake, he still maintains his friendship with Putin. That’s why there will no longer be any official receptions in honor of Schröder on his 80th birthday.

In 2014, the SPD honored its former chancellor and former chairman with a ceremony in the Berlin art museum Hamburger Bahnhof. In his speech, the SPD leader at the time, Sigmar Gabriel, called Schröder one of “the most unusual social democratic politicians.” “In everything he did, he went all out. For himself, for the SPD, but also for the country,” said Gabriel. Meanwhile, the SPD leadership no longer even invites Schröder to their party conferences, as is actually usual for former party leaders.

Also no reception in Hanover

The reception in Hanover’s town hall, which the Lower Saxony state capital hosted in 2014 for its then honorary citizen Schröder, will also not take place this time. Schröder resigned his honorary citizenship after proceedings to revoke it were initiated against him.

Source: Stern

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