Finance Minister Lindner wants to cut state funding for Schröder – POLITICO

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner has called for a cut in state financial aid for former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder because of his links to Kremlin-backed Russian business interests.

“There should be consequences,” said Lindner said the German Funke media group in an interview released Saturday. “For me it is no longer conceivable that the taxpayer would provide him with an office.”

Since Moscow launched its war in Ukraine, Schröder has faced increasing pressure to vacate all his positions in Russian energy companies and to publicly denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin. He still has to do both – in a last job interview Schröder told the New York Times that he “[doesn’t] do mea culpa” as “that’s not my thing”.

The social democrat, who was chancellor from 1998 to 2005, benefits from various forms of government support, including funding for an office. But Lindner, leader of the liberal Free Democrats, said: “Former incumbents in leadership positions who appear to be on the side of criminal governments cannot count on the support of this state.”

Schröder is also under pressure from within his own party. Saskia Esken, one of the two co-chairs of the Social Democrats, told In a German radio show earlier this week, she wants Schröder to leave the party and that several requests are underway to prepare for his departure.

For his part, Lindner also called for a general reorganization of the benefits for former chancellors and federal presidents. “One should also speak of a kind of code of conduct in this context,” he said. Finance Minister Lindner wants to cut state funding for Schröder - POLITICO

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