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Education minister spent €150,000 on flight to Pope

The Local · 1 Oct 2011, 12:47

Published: 01 Oct 2011 12:47 GMT+02:00

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Schavan visited the pope at the end of March, flying to Rome to see him about six months before his state visit to Germany. The conservative Christian Democrat Union politician was in the line of ministers who greeted Benedict when he arrived in Berlin on September 22.

Her trip with three advisors involved a general audience and a short private conversation, after which the minister reported that he was looking forward to his trip to Germany.

And although there were several commercial connections between Berlin and Rome, Schavan used a Bundeswehr jet, at a cost of around €150,000, the magazine reported on Saturday – she said she could not have fitted everything in otherwise.

Guidelines say that ministers should only resort to such measures, “when the journey cannot be undertaken by using public transport or cars, or if other crucial official business cannot be conducted without using the airforce’s airplanes.”

Schavan said that she could not have made it to a reception of the German ambassador on the evening before her meeting with the pope if she had taken a commercial flight. She had been taking part in the Islam conference in Berlin that afternoon until at least 3 p.m.

Story continues below…

Her spokesman said her return journey by military jet was also necessary because she had to deliver a speech to the expert forum on education in the economy in Nordhorn, Lower Saxony, as soon as she arrived back in Germany.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:10 October 1, 2011 by twisted
Come on, lighten up....all politicians know that taxpayer money is to be used for their benefit.... Commercial flights? You must be kidding. No self-respecting politicians uses commercial flights. At only € 24,000 debt per German citizen, what is another piddly € 150,000?
15:18 October 1, 2011 by Shirazz
Exactly. It's unthinkable for somebody as important as this broad to be taking business class or first class commercial flights, forget economy because Rome if far .. about...uh....half the world away from Berlin I guess??

And after all, she was having an audience not just with anyone, you know.

Can't you see her schedule was very tight and she had to make it back in time to give a talk to the experts on education in the "economy".

With all her sacrifices, we should be proud of her...and please be nice to her, other wise she'd also leave us for the US Think Tank....We are already facing "brain drains" as it is now...

We need all these intelligent people to lead us on Energy Saving and Economizing.
16:04 October 1, 2011 by maxbrando

You are a moron. Your idea of criticism is to try to blow this incident off with supposedly comical cynicism. Everyone does it, and ywe all should accept it because everyone does it. Therefore alles ok. You have a low grade intellect.
16:31 October 1, 2011 by derExDeutsche
oui, les bourgeoisie réels: the Govt. Class. Kiss the ring, peasant. the Dept. of Education in the US is worse.


I liked your comment
16:46 October 1, 2011 by Al uk
@maxbrando i'm guessing you just don't get the sarcasm in twisted's first post.
17:07 October 1, 2011 by Englishted
It would have been cheaper to see god,he does weekend cheap flights by ryanair. Trouble is you land miles away from him or she or it or them depending on which one has washed your brain out.
17:56 October 1, 2011 by mshameemahmed
thats always the news from Politician spending the tax payer hard-Earn money like thr own :-) ...... If she would have fly with other thn military plane...We would have save alot....whc will be equal to social benefit of around more thn 100 people.... Come on politician...dnt be so spend drift.....
18:19 October 1, 2011 by Heinrich der Zweite
If she was an angel it wouldn't have cost anything.
18:50 October 1, 2011 by Shirazz

Plus on cheap flights you have to pay extra for your luggage, leg room, meal, drinks, water, blanket, oxygen mask, seat belt, toilet paper, air, etc...... Might end up cheaper to fly with mil jet in the end.
19:28 October 1, 2011 by DOZ
That's a Harper Government trick. Picking up bad Canadian values eh. That's whats wrong with this New World Economy. Next thing you know, German Kids will be swimming in dirty mud puddles.
20:00 October 1, 2011 by mikel taylor
Dear Missss Annette Schavan

I know for a fact that you can rent a private Jet from any one of the many avail in DE.

he cost for a G4 0r G5 is about 6000 to 8000 euros an hour assuming it takes 2 hours each way and with standby time at 1000 an hour

so 4 hrs flight time @ 8000 = 32000 EU on the high side of the cost

4 hours stand by @ 1000 = 4000 EU

Total would have cost 36,000 EU saving the taxpayer 134,000 EU

Plus on a private jet the food is amazing not warmed over crap from the commissary..

and these cost are on the high side, assuming that the government get a better rate.

Hope your visit with his holiness was worth it,

plus you now get the wrath of the citizens, sounds like your the one who needs some Education,, a little abuse of power is getting harder and harder to get away with.. Madam Education Minister, Exactly what does you position and meeting the dude from Rome have to do with your job...
20:34 October 1, 2011 by twisted
@ maxbrando - I'm the moron? You need to learn to spell.
23:13 October 1, 2011 by c12dat
Greetings to All,

The cost reported is the price that the government would charge a non-governmental agency for the use of that aircraft.

I can't speak for the Luftwaffe, but the US Army has 3 different "rates" for hourly cost of the use of a military aircraft ... military - governmental agencies - Other (non-governmental agency). The last being the highest rate.

The aircraft that I flies is programed for 50 hrs per month. Fuel cost, maintenance cost and so forth. Whether the plane flies 0 hour or 50 hours; the maintenance cost is spent. Really no labor cost for the aircrew. The flight crew needs to fly the plane to keep up their proficiencies. Strangely enough, planes need to be flown otherwise they will break from just sitting on the ramp.

So if a military aircraft is sitting on the ramp, with a crew that has been trained to fly it, and all the costs have been paid ... why not use it? The actual cost is a whole lot less.
15:17 October 2, 2011 by flipinwotsit
Could have walked it....
21:08 October 2, 2011 by wenddiver
I need a War Plane to go to a Christain function! How dumb is that.

What would Jesus do??? I bet he would rather walk.
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