Scholz Party considers attempts to expel former German leader Schroeder
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party’s local leaders have convened to discuss calls to eject former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
A/P BERLIN — Local representatives from the party of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gathered on Thursday to discuss proposals to expel former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, but no decision was made right away.
Schroeder’s political status is in ruins as a result of his long-term connections to the Russian energy industry and his failure to completely sever ties with President Vladimir Putin after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Schroeder’s home city of Hannover’s arbitration committee for the center-left Social Democrats looked at 17 requests from party members seeking legal action against him.
According to the German news agency DPA, Schroeder skipped the hearing and declined legal representation. After the hearing finished without a decision being made right away, local party official Christoph Mattern stated that one will be made in the following three weeks.
Not many people anticipate the former chancellor being expelled. Expulsion of party members in Germany is a difficult, time-consuming, and frequently unsuccessful process.
Senior party leaders have urged the 78-year-old Schroeder to resign of his own choice, but he has shown no signs of doing so. He led the Social Democrats from 1999 to 2004 while serving as chancellor from 1998 to 2005.
Schroeder said in May that he would stand down from the Rosneft board of directors, which he had presided over since 2017. Additionally, he has decided not to accept a nomination for the board of directors of Gazprom that was made public just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.
Schroeder has other connections to the Russian energy industry. He previously served as chair of the Nord Stream AG shareholders’ committee, which oversees the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea, and as chairman of the board of directors for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which Scholz’s administration stopped in February. Putin has known him for a very long time.
German legislators decided to close Schroeder’s taxpayer-funded office in May.
Schroeder has refused to buckle under the pressure, telling the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that he “won’t give up my opportunity to speak to President Putin” and questioning the priority being placed on arming Ukraine.
I don’t think a military approach will work, he declared.
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