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Joschka Fischer working with BMW

In the latest twist of Joschka Fischer’s colourful career, the sneaker-wearing former radical and foreign minister has signed on to consult luxury car maker BMW.

Joschka Fischer working with BMW
Photo: DPA

Fischer, who once worked on an Opel assembly line and was one of the early leaders of the environmentalist Green party, is advising the firm on developing a sustainable and environmentally friendlier business strategy, according to Der Spiegel news magazine.

BMW isn’t the only blue-chip client for Fischer’s consulting business, which will open a new office in Berlin this fall. The former street brawler has also worked with the energy firm RWE and the Nabucco natural gas pipeline project.

According to Der Spiegel, BMW hired Fischer because his extensive international experience while serving as foreign minister from 1998 to 2005 makes him a rich source of ideas and one of the world’s experts on sustainability.

Fischer’s work with BMW is not his first foray into the automotive business. During the 1970s, he worked on the assembly line at an Opel factory in Frankfurt trying to organise workers. Fischer also spent several years behind the wheel of a taxi before joining the Greens in the early 1980s and becoming one of the first Green members in parliament.

He caused a scandal when he wore a pair of sneakers while being sworn in as a member of the Bundestag in 1983.

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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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