Germany's Schroeder Joins Russian-German Gas Pipeline Project
Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will lead the shareholders committee for a German- Russian gas-pipeline project to pump gas under the Baltic Sea, OAO Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller said today.As noted by both the BBC and David, but Bloomberg, the conflict of interest in this is staggering since Schröder negotiated the deal to start this pipeline just three months ago while he was still Chancellor. The German opposition parties are distinctly unimpressed (and rightly so):
But the opposition Greens and Liberals (FDP) condemned Mr Schroeder's acceptance of the post, saying it would lead to the suspicion that the former chancellor was unable to distinguish between public and private affairs.
"It stinks," said Greens co-chairman Reinhard Buetikofer.
"It is to be hoped that Schroeder would do the job without payment. Otherwise there would be the suspicion that Russian President Putin created a job to reward Schroeder," the FDP's Rainer Bruederle told the International Herald Tribune.Somehow I rather doubt that Schröder will willingly do this job for free but he may be forced to. If so then perhaps Schröder's busiess sense is little better than Blunkett's, whose investment in the DNA firm seems to have been extremely bad financially as well as ethically (via Tim W).