Former German leader Gerhard Schroeder sues to restore official benefits

BERLIN (AP) — Former German leader Gerhard Schroeder is suing to restore the perks he enjoyed as a former chancellor after he was stripped of them by parliament following criticism of his ties to Russia.

Schroeder, who served as chancellor from 1998 to 2005, has long had close ties with Russian energy companies and President Vladimir Putin. These ties came under intense scrutiny after Russia invaded Ukraine nearly six months ago.

German news agency dpa quoted Schroeder’s lawyer, Michael Nagel, as saying on Friday that his client had filed a complaint with the administrative court in Berlin to restore the necessary funding he had previously received for his office and staff. .

The Bundestag had changed the rules in May to tie certain privileges enjoyed by former chancellors to their actual duties. In their decision, lawmakers did not explicitly state Schroeder’s ties to Russia. But Nagel told dpa the reasons for the change were obvious and would not withstand a legal challenge.

Earlier this week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party rejected an offer to expel Schroeder, who had refused to distance himself from Putin and recently met the Russian leader during a visit to Moscow in late July. .

James R. Rhodes