Schmidt, 94, has a carte blanche when it comes to smoking. Whether on live television or indoors at political conventions, the former-Chancellor is allowed to light up where he pleases.
But it would seem even he is not above EU law, as central parliament in Brussels is considering banning his favourite vice – menthol cigarettes.
One step ahead, Schmidt has apparently stashed 200 cartons of his preferred brand, Reyno, in his house, the Hamburger Morgenpost revealed. This means that he has enough to keep him on a packet a day until he turns 100.
Responsible for outing his secret is Chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück of Schmidt's old party the Social Democrats.
He told a group of business representatives in a recent election campaign meeting that he has a stash of special French lightbulbs he fears could be banned under new EU regulations. Steinbrück then let slip the former-Chancellor's secret.
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Steinbrück was, he said, using the anecdote to embellish his argument against the “unbearable regulation frenzy” going on in Brussels.