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POLITICS

Roth: Merkel is “chancellor of heteros”

Thousands of gay and lesbian Germans and their supporters demonstrated for gay rights on Saturday in Munich’s annual Christopher Street Day parade.

Roth: Merkel is “chancellor of heteros”
A Christopher Street participant in Munich's Marienplatz on July 12. Photo: DPA

Green Party Chairwoman Claudia Roth called on the German federal government to put gays and lesbians on equal legal footing with heterosexuals during a speech in the city’s central Marienplatz.

“We are a long way from our goal,” Roth said, calling for the government to close gaps in laws relating to legal partnerships, adoption and taxes.

Roth accused conservative Christian Democrat Chancellor Angela Merkel of being “chancellor of the heteros.”

“Do something,” Roth said to applause from a crowd of several thousand.

Christopher Street Day is an annual celebration to commemorate the beginning of the gay rights movement in New York City in 1969.

POLITICS

Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has sued the German parliament for removing some of his official post-retirement perks over his links to Russian energy giants, his lawyer said Friday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Schröder, 78, has come under heavy criticism for his proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin and involvement with state-backed energy companies.

The decision to suspend Schröder’s taxpayer-funded office and staff in May was “contrary to the rule of law”, Michael Nagel, told public broadcaster NDR.

Schröder “heard of everything through the media”, Nagel said, noting that the Social Democrat had asked for a hearing before the budget committee responsible but was not given the chance to express himself.

READ ALSO: Germany strips Schröder of official perks over Russia ties

Schröder’s lawyers filed the complaint with an administrative Berlin court, a spokesman for the court confirmed.

In its decision to strip him of the perks, the committee concluded that Schröder, who served as chancellor from 1998 to 2005, “no longer upholds the continuing obligations of his office”.

Most of Schröder’s office staff had already quit before the final ruling was made.

Despite resigning from the board of Russian oil company Rosneft and turning down a post on the supervisory board of gas giant Gazprom in May, Schröder has maintained close ties with the Kremlin.

The former chancellor met Putin in July, after which he said Moscow was ready for a “negotiated solution” to the war in Ukraine — comments branded as “disgusting” by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Last week, the Social Democrats concluded that Schröder would be allowed to remain a member after he was found not have breached party rules over his ties to the Russian President.

Schröder’s stance on the war and solo diplomacy has made him an embarrassment to the SPD, which is also the party of current Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

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