Hanover/Berlin Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) is suing the Bundestag for the restoration of the special rights that were revoked in May. The 78-year-old demands that a former Chancellor’s office with employees be made available to him again, as his Hanoverian lawyer Michael Nagel told the German Press Agency on Friday.
The lawsuit was filed with the Berlin administrative court, said Nagel. The decision of the Bundestag Budget Committee to cut Schröder’s funds for equipping his office in the Bundestag and to put the office on hold is illegal, according to a statement by the law firm available to dpa.
It is “claimed that former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder no longer takes care of the so-called “after-effects of service”. “However, it is not specified what “long-term official duties” actually are, how their perception or non-perception is to be determined and what procedure is otherwise to be followed,” the statement continues.
The whole process is “written on the forehead that reasons other than those specified by the “new rules” were decisive for the decision of the budget committee”. Such decisions are more reminiscent of an absolutist princely state “in terms of the way they came about” and should not last in a democratic constitutional state, Schröder’s lawyers explained.
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The former chancellor has been heavily criticized for his commitment to Russian energy companies and his closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Schröder will continue to receive a pension and personal protection
However, the Budget Committee did not justify the partial cancellation of Schröder’s privileges with his work for the energy companies or his attitude to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Rather, the “equipment of former chancellors should be carried out according to the ongoing obligations from the office,” says the regulation. Apparently, the parliamentarians could not see this in Schröder.
Last year, more than 400,000 euros flowed from the state coffers for personnel expenses in Schröder’s office. Schröder will continue to receive his pension of 8,300 euros after the decision, as well as personal security.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) welcomed the decision in May as “logical”. In the context of the decision, the European Parliament had spoken out in favor of sanctions against Schröder with a large majority. It was only on Monday that the SPD arbitration committee in Schröder’s hometown of Hanover rejected the expulsion of the former chancellor from the party.
Schröder’s Hanoverian lawyer is considered one of the most renowned criminal lawyers in Germany. He represented, among others, the former Federal President Christian Wulff.
More: Schröder can remain in the SPD: the arbitration commission sees no violations of the party order