German socialists fail to shake off Schroeder

gerhard schroeder will continue to belong to the SPD: expulsion petitions filed by party members for their business dealings with Vladimir Putinwhom he has justified and defended in multiple interviews, have been dismissed by the SPD arbitration commission in second instance and it seems practically impossible for the ex-German chancellor to leave in this way.

The process to remove him from the party began this summer: the plaintiffs had to prove that Schroeder had violated the party’s statutes and knowingly caused damage with his statements and his ties to Russia. Now, those responsible for said committee point out that it cannot be established “with sufficient certainty” that he violated the principles of the SPD with his activities. “It is quite possible that prominent German politicians have underestimated the danger of creating an energy dependence on Russia in the last 25 years,” the ruling states. But other politicians from the SPD itself and from other parties fell into that mistake. Punishing him for it, they say, “would be going too far.”

The war between Schroeder and his own party started shortly before the Russian invasion with the former chancellor’s first assessments of Putin’s performance, with whom he is linked, in addition to succulent economic ties, a friendship that Schroeder boasts of.

The former chancellor has challenged the leaders of the SPD both with statements that went against the government’s strategy and with decisions such as go to Moscow on their own to negotiate with the Russian president, behind Olaf Scholz’s back. The party’s criticism of its former leader has been growing but Schroeder has always refused to either break with Putin or leave, ignoring calls for his resignation that have come from the leadership of the German Socialists themselves.

Meanwhile, he decided to leave his position at Russian energy giant Rosneft, but only because of the threat of European sanctions, and was left without an office and secretaries, one of his privileges as a former foreign minister.

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