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POLITICS

Far-right AfD warns MP over racial slur on Boris Becker’s son

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party on Monday formally cautioned one of its lawmakers over a tweet calling tennis star Boris Becker's son a "little half-negro".

Far-right AfD warns MP over racial slur on Boris Becker's son
Jens Maier (left) and Noah Becker. Photo: DPA.

A tweet from the account of Jens Maier, a former judge, had attacked Noah Becker for reportedly complaining about being seen as the “eternal son” of his famous father.

“It seems the little half-negro simply got too little attention,” read the tweet posted from the account of Maier, one of more than 90 AfD members elected to parliament last September.

Maier claims he did not write the tweet, which has since been deleted, saying one of his staff had posted it.

In a statement issued Monday, Maier apologized to Becker for the “lapse” by his employee, who he said no longer worked for him.

 “This tweet not only contradicts my style but also does not reflect my ideas. I will ensure that this does not happen again,” he said.

Maier's explanation appeared to have been accepted by the party's leadership, which warned him to take greater care in managing his employees.

Noah Becker has filed a criminal complaint against Maier over the tweet, which was also blasted by his father in a scathing column in Sunday's edition of Die Welt newspaper.

“Jens Maier says such things neither out of stupidity nor fear. He knows exactly what he is doing and why,” wrote Boris Becker, demanding that the MP face “consequences”.

It was a second time in a week that AfD deputies had come under fire after police filed a complaint against senior party member Beatrix von Storch over a New Year's Eve tweet which they say violated laws against incitement to hate.

Von Storch had criticized Cologne police for sending a New Year's greeting in Arabic on Twitter, asking if authorities had meant “to placate the barbaric, Muslim, gang-raping hordes of men?”

On January 1st, a law against online hate speech went into effect in Germany, requiring social media companies to remove illegal inflammatory comments or face up to €50 million ($60 million) in fines.

The AfD capitalized on discontent against a mass influx of asylum seekers to Germany since 2015 to make the strongest showing for a far-right party in a national election in the post-war era.

READ ALSO: Is a new German law encouraging social media giants to censor opinions?

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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