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Home is where the tax breaks are for Michael Schumacher

Seven-time world Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has caused a stir in Germany by insisting "Switzerland is the only home I have".

Home is where the tax breaks are for Michael Schumacher
Photo:DPA

The 42-year-old has lived in Switzerland for the last 15 years and has settled with wife Corinna and his two children on the shores of Lake Geneva, despite being born and raised in Germany.

“The fact that Switzerland is clearly the only home I have is probably because I left home when I was very young and have spent a lot of my life abroad,” Schumacher told Swiss newspaper the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

“Home is where we feel happy – and that’s just on Lake Geneva.”

Schumacher’s comments did not go down well in Germany with daily newspaper Bild publishing the headline: “Schumi, what should we take this to mean?” -although it also provided the explanation that he saves several million euros in tax by being there.

Germany’s current world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull also lives in Switzerland, but last month he celebrated in his home town of Heppenheim, near Frankfurt, after winning the 2011 Formula One title.

Schumacher, who won the last of his seven world titles in 2004, spends around 20 days a year in Germany, according to his manager, and owns a go-kart centre in Kerpen, while co-owning another in Mannheim.

But Schumacher insisted he is a proud German, and when Bild asked if had any plans to change his citizenship in the future he said, “rubbish! Of course I’m German, I have a German passport, and I look forward to it every time I come to Germany.”

Schumacher is currently eighth in the drivers’ table with 70 points, 304 behind Vettel, who has 11 victories from 17 races so far this season with the Abu Dhabi and Brazilian Grand Prix races to take place later this month.

AFP/jcw

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UKRAINE

German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

READ ALSO: OPINION: Germany has scuppered Nord Stream 2 but there are questions left to answer

Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

READ ALSO: Germany set to shut airspace to Russian planes on Sunday

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