As The Moscow Times reports, Germany is paying its defunct prime minister and bosom pal of dictatorship in Russia $300,000 -- God only knows how much he is getting from Russia! Isn't it interesting how the great failures from other countries always seem to gravitate towards Russia?
Friday, March 31, 2006. Issue 3383. Page 1.
Schröder Defends His Pipeline Role
By Valeria Korchagina Staff Writer
As he took the reins of a consortium behind the North European Gas Pipeline on Thursday, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder dismissed criticism for accepting a job that will pay him 250,000 euros ($301,000) per year.
Speaking to a room packed with journalists at the Gazprom headquarters in Moscow, Schröder emphasized the importance of the project's securing energy supplies to Europe, saying any German government would have supported the $5 billion plan.
"I cannot understand this criticism," Schröder said, stressing that he was invited to chair the project by Gazprom, which owns a controlling stake of 51 percent. German partners E.On and BASF each have a 24.5 stake in the joint venture."This project is of huge importance for securing energy supply to Germany. ... The criticism is wrong," Schröder said. In addition to the appointment of Schröder, who is considered a close friend of President Vladimir Putin, the committee on Thursday also formalized the role of Dresdner Bank's Matthias Warnig as managing director. Warnig, board chairman of Dresdner Bank's Russian arm, has been friends with the president since Putin's days in the St. Petersburg city administration in the 1990s. According to some reports, the two go back even further, to when Putin was a KGB agent in East Germany.