Chancellor trial: Dispute over Schröder’s office continues in court

Chancellor trial: Dispute over Schröder’s office continues in court

After losing his office in the Bundestag, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder went to court and lost in the first instance. Now the judiciary is dealing with the case again.

The dispute over former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s (SPD) former office in the Bundestag continues in court today. The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) of Berlin-Brandenburg will hear oral arguments on the case from 10 a.m. Schröder (80) wants to use court decisions to ensure that the Bundestag continues to pay for him an office with rooms and staff. He lost in the first instance before the administrative court in May 2023.

Schröder was chancellor from 1998 to 2005 and party leader of the SPD from 1999 to 2004. In May 2022, the Budget Committee decided to close his office in the Bundestag. The reason given was that the former chancellor was no longer fulfilling any obligations in the context of his previous activities.

The administrative court rejected the 80-year-old’s appeal against this decision, and as a result the office was closed. According to the ruling, the former chancellor is not entitled to have an office equipped to carry out duties from his previous office. Schröder then lodged an appeal.

Payment for offices of former chancellors reorganised

The governing coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP had re-regulated the payment of offices for former chancellors, among others, in spring 2022. It now depends on whether the ex-politicians actually still take on tasks related to their former office, such as having patronages and giving speeches.

Previously, Schröder had been repeatedly criticized for his connections to Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin – even within his own party. Several of his employees had given up their posts after the Russian attack on Ukraine. However, the motion passed by the Budget Committee did not mention Schröder’s connections to Russian companies or Putin.

Source: Stern

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