I almost forgot to remind the 70th birthday of "my favorite dislike" among Germany's politicians: Ex-Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (* 7.4.1944 - ?). When he left the political stage, he had replaced the traditional system of social support for the unemployed by another system that was described as "poverty by law" by one of his more prominent critics and which did not help much to restore decently paid jobs, but, on the contrary, "froze" much individual activity and creativity on the side of the unemployed. For that, he was much applauded by a certain kind of German employers and by Germany's foreign competitors on the global market.
However, it was not that kind of social-democratic policy he was expected to practice when being elected by his followers, even though some kind of social reform seemed to be necessary. No wonder that more and more voices from among the ordinary people could be heard calling him a "liar". This was enhanced by a default of additional measures to be taken in order to stabilize the economy.
I remember the advertisement of some economic circle showing him on a photo while smoking a big cigar. The photo's subtitle read: "Nothing but smoke rises from the chancellor". In the original text, they were using the German expression of "blauer Dunst" instead of "smoke" which is a synonym for "nothing worth to spend a dime for".
"Count Baltar" receives congratulations from the "Imperious Leader"
(as perceived from Battlestar Galactica)
What makes the ex-chancellor even more questionable is his personal friendship with Russia's president Putin which seems to be even deeper rooted than his relations to old "comrades" within his own political party.
Furthermore, he and his young wife decided to adopt two Russian children and live temporarily in Russia where Schröder became the director of a company subordinate to Putin's state-run enterprise GAZPROM. Some years later, Schröder was caught again in public spotlight when his oil and gas company was mentioned in the frame of huge environmental damages it should have caused in Northern Siberia. However, this is a remote area where nobody is too seriously looking. Therefore, the incident fell into oblivion.
As to his friendship with Vladimir Putin, an ex-KGB agent and liaison officer to the East-German state security (Stasi), I still have my second thoughts. For the time Putin was performing in East Berlin, there are hints that he sometimes appeared in the Western part of the city. Being known for his unusual ability to recruit East German citizens for the KGB, he might have made contacts in Westberlin as well.
Let me just mention a strange encounter I had in the old diplomatic quarters of the town that could have fit some of those Hollywood productions at the time. In a small street where some foreign consulates from neutral states were located and where there was usually no traffic at all, I noticed a car, registered in Westberlin, and which passed that street more than once. When it passed for the second or third time, some diplomatic car with an East Berlin registration number appeared and both cars stopped in the middle of the street. Some papers were handed over from the German to the diplomatic driver, and for a moment I could look at the "diplomat". He was a young man with thin blond hair and with a round head, very much looking like many Russians. However, I would not dare to draw any conclusions on his identity. Only to mention that this meeting had been observed by somebody else: A young lady was waiting at a temporary bus-stop. When I passed by, she grinned and greeted me, probably holding me for some colleague from another company. I should have added, there was no bus running at all in that street. The temporary bus-stop had appeared some days before and disappeared again some days later.
That private story only to lead back to ex-chancellor Schröder who once received president Putin in the same town, however long after the German reunification. At the time of Putin's official visit, I asked myself who would show the sights to whom. I am still convinced that Schröder, who originally came from Hannover, did not know much about Berlin, while Putin might have been the right candidate to show the chancellor his own capital.
GAZPROM Schröder on a visit to Iran's former president Ahmadi Nejad
after being utterly prepared with latest German intelligence on Iran and
to which he was entitled as a former chancellor of the Federal Republic.
Lenin, Stalin, Honegger, Putin and his social-democratic friend Schröder are travelling together on a Russian train. Suddenly, the train stops as there are no trails ahead any longer. They have been stolen. Now, the following happens:
- Lenin orders to take the trails from behind and add them in front, such that the journey might continue.
- Stalin orders to shoot the engineer.
- Honegger retires to his compartment, draws the curtains in front of the window and declares: "We are travelling at full speed."
- Putin promotes Schröder as a director of the line.
- Schröder, finally, starts his program "Rent an Unemployed for 1 € an Hour" and orders the long-term unemployed from Germany to Siberia for railway reconstruction work.
Short remark for my visitors from abroad: Honegger was the guy who lead the rotten German Democratic Republic (GDR) into its total decay in 1989.
Visitors to "blueprint news": Reminding the 3rd anniversary of
Bin Laden being killed by U.S. special forces on May 2, 2011