• Germany's news in English
 
Public funds '17 cars' for three ex-chancellors
Photo: DPA

Public funds '17 cars' for three ex-chancellors

Published: 12 Nov 2012 08:45 GMT+01:00

The Social Democrat swiftly moved from politics to lucrative business after losing office in 2005. He took up a well-paid job with Nord Stream, which operates a natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea - and which is majority owned by Gazprom.

The other former chancellors also have publicly funded transport, with Helmut Kohl having access to six cars including three Mercedes 600 SEL models, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Monday.

And Helmut Schmidt has access to four, including two fancy Mercedes 420 cdi cars which cost nearly €100,000 each.

The former chancellors' cars have cost the country €1.265 million in purchasing, repairs and use, since they were introduced, Der Spiegel said, although it failed to say how long the publicly funded transport had been available to them.

The federal police, responsible for the personal security of the former chancellors, said such measures were necessary to protect them.

Left MP Gesine Lötzsch said it was ridiculous - "One former chancellor, one car," she demanded.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:51 November 12, 2012 by BobbyBaxter
€1.265 billion !!!! For chauffeuring an duffer around ..... words fail me.
12:00 November 12, 2012 by Omufu
Not the best use of money. Especially not when you see the state of some of the public institutions around Berlin (like schools), and think about how many German children live in poverty.

I'm sure the Greeks will have a laugh :P
17:42 November 12, 2012 by Englishted
Corrupt on a grand scale ,far to friendly with Gazprom when in power.

I agree with Gesine Lötzsch one car each is more than enough,when you see the fat pensions they also receive ,but austerity is the new watchword for us but not for them .
18:48 November 12, 2012 by Zubair Khan
When it comes to those who govern or had governed the people, all seem to be sailing in same boat, be it developed, developing or under developed countries. Sad and unjust treatment of resources and facilities.
21:24 November 12, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
How about a VW, it's big enough to carry their fishing gear ...
22:28 November 12, 2012 by bhess
I think it's incumbant of the German government to protect their former leaders despite what you feel about them. I feel the same way of our President. If you didn't they would easily be targets for assassination. That would seriously hurt the country's prestige.

Bobby- It's 1.265 Million BTW.
15:29 November 16, 2012 by agbjr
If these former chancellors absolutely MUST have a taxpayer-supported car then supply them with a Trabant; one each and no chauffeur.
07:59 November 17, 2012 by bolly
Be reasonable folks. Each of these gentlemen had to endure state funded food, and lots of it. That impacted on their girth and weight, and their ability to walk. Therefore, a big limousine is essential. But, on second thoughts, a VW transporter suitably fitted out, would probably do the job as well. Seriously though, providing more than one state funded car is clearly over the top and not in keeping with the current economic climate. indeed, it is excessive, full stop!
19:45 November 17, 2012 by raandy
Its amazing how these last years news politicians keep living off the country.
16:46 November 19, 2012 by Floriansamsel
First, I thought this was a joke - but no!

It is high time for some reforms to cut these extras and I demand even more than the left: no car and no chauffeur for former chancellors. They don't need this extra bonus, the pensions are high enough.
Today's headlines
British and German troops relive Xmas truce
Soldiers in World War One period uniforms watch the football match. Photo: DPA

British and German troops relive Xmas truce

Teams from the British and German armies played a friendly football game in Aldershot on Wednesday in memory of the Christmas truce of 1914. READ  

American guilty of killing Hamburg student
Diren Dede's grieving parents outside the court in Missoula Photo: DPA

American guilty of killing Hamburg student

A US court has found a man who shot and killed 17-year old German exchange student Diren Dede guilty of deliberate homicide. READ  

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016
Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016

After months of bickering among the coalition parties, the cabinet finally agreed to put a road toll for foreigners before parliament, but open questions about its financial viability and legality remain. READ  

Over half of Christmas trees carry pesticides
Ordinary people might soon be copying this contestant in last January's Christmas tree-throwing contest in Swabia. Photo: DPA

Over half of Christmas trees carry pesticides

Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) said that it found poisonous chemicals in more than half of German Christmas trees it had tested. READ  

'Breakthrough' in train strike: union
Stranded passengers during the train strike Photo: DPA

'Breakthrough' in train strike: union

The head of the train drivers union GDL claimed a "breakthrough" late Wednesday in talks with Deutsche Bahn, which may herald the end of a spate of train strikes which have caused travelling misery and cost the rail operator around 100 million euros. READ  

Opinion
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
The baroque skyline of Dresden Photo: DPA

What does Dresden have against Muslims?

The Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) was unknown three months ago. Now it's making Dresden famous - for all the wrong reasons. READ  

Amazon strike extended to Saturday
Workers at the Amazon distribution centre in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

Amazon strike extended to Saturday

Union Verdi announced on Wednesday that its members at two Amazon distribution centres would extend a planned three-day strike through the rest of the week, while four more sites saw new walkouts. READ  

Russia in clear over death of German MP
The late German parliamentarian Andreas Schockenhoff Photo: DPA

Russia in clear over death of German MP

A post-mortem on a prominent German MP and critic of Vladimir Putin showed no signs of foul play, prosecutors said Wednesday. READ  

'Tear Down This Plaque' row over GDR sign
Former East German leader and "comrade" Erich Honecker Photo: DPA

'Tear Down This Plaque' row over GDR sign

A historic Berlin museum is facing calls to pull down a plaque commemorating the former East German communist leader Erich Honecker. READ  

'Reform business inheritance tax' court tells MPs
Presiding judge Ferdinand Kirchhof announcing the decision on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

'Reform business inheritance tax' court tells MPs

Judges at the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe said on Wednesday that the government must change rules reducing tax on inherited family-owned businesses within 18 months. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,167
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd