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Greens’ Lisa Paus to be new German family minister

Single mother and economics expert Lisa Paus will be Germany's new family minister, the Green party announced on Thursday after the resignation of her predecessor.

Lisa Paus green family minister
The financial politician Paus is to become the new family minister. (picture alliance/dpa/dpa Pool | Fabian Sommer)

Paus, 53, has been a member of the Bundestag lower house of parliament since 2009 and is vice-chair of the Green party’s parliamentary group.

She helped develop plans for universal financial protection for children from poor families, a key policy in Germany’s coalition agreement between the Social Democrats, Greens and liberal FDP.

Born in North Rhine-Westphalia state, Paus and has a degree in economics and made a name for herself in the Bundestag as a financial expert.

She has raised her son alone since her partner died of cancer in 2013.

Ricarda Lang, co-chair of the party, described Paus as a “committed fighter for social justice” and said she was “exactly the right person” for the ministry.

Paus, who is expected to take up the post within the next two weeks, described herself as a “strong feminist” and said she wanted to improve the lives of single parents.

READ ALSO: German court authorises surveillance of far-right AfD

Paus will replace Anne Spiegel, 41, who resigned on Monday after coming under pressure for taking a summer vacation last year not long after Germany suffered deadly flooding.

Spiegel left for the holiday 10 days after the floods killed over 180 people in western regions including Rhineland-Palatinate, where she was the state environment minister at the time.

She said she had decided to step down “because of political pressure”. “I am doing this to avert damage to the office, which is facing great political challenges,” she said in a statement.

Spiegel was the first minister to resign from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet, in power since December.

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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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