German ex-leader Schroeder sues to restore official perks

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

Schroeder, who was chancellor from 1998 to 2005, has long had a close relationship with Russian energy companies and President Vladimir Putin. Those links came under heightened scrutiny following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nearly six months ago.

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

The Bundestag had changed the rules in May to link some privileges former chancellors receive to their actual duties. In their decision, lawmakers didn’t explicitly state Schroeder’s ties to Russia. But Nagel told dpa that the reasons for the change were obvious and wouldn’t withstand legal challenge.

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

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