German Of The Day: Oligarch

That means oligarch. Take former chancellor Gerhard “Gazprom Gerd” Schroeder, for instance. Please.

Gerd

Sanctions aimed at key individuals can be surprisingly effective, it turns out. They help to undermine internal support for the regime or at least its most unattractive policies.

One oligarch, though, remains overlooked. Arguably he is the most important of all. That’s former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

Mr. Schroeder has been a one-man Trojan horse against every European Union commitment to curb Russian energy leverage and improve the competitiveness of its gas market. Notice that the alternative was never to shut Russian gas out of Germany. It was simply for Germany, at every step, to stop lending itself to the enhancement of Russia’s energy power, with Mr. Schroeder leading the influence brigades.

Schröders Engagement in Russland und Nähe zu Putin, den er einen Freund nennt, stößt seit Jahren auf Argwohn. Im vergangenen September ließ sich der Altkanzler allen Einwänden zum Trotz zum Aufsichtsratsvorsitzenden des halbstaatlichen russischen Ölkonzerns Rosneft wählen.

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German Of The Day: Fremdschämen

That means “external shame.” Second-hand embarrassment, that is, or feeling embarrassment for somebody else – especially when that somebody else is clearly somebody else who knows no shame. Like Gazprom Gerd (SPD), for instance.

Fremdschämen

Now we can cringe at him being in love with what will most likely be his fifth wife and read all about it in the Bunte even though there is no force in the universe that can make me do that but still.

“Wo Schröder inzwischen privat Pipelines verlegt, wissen wir seit September… Der Altkanzler und seine koreanische Freundin Soyeon Kim zeigen uns ihr großes Glück und verraten, wie sie ihre Zukunft planen. Wird sie seine 5. Ehefrau?”

Gazprom Gerd Gets A Raise

You’ve got to have principles. As many as possible. For all eventualities. Take former German chancellor Gazprom Gerhard Schroeder (SPD), for instance. Please.

Gerd

His nomination to the board of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company – majority-owned by the Russian government – is breathtaking in its brazenness. You can’t really call it a sell-out, however. This guy sold out long ago.

Rosneft is under Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis. By pure coincidence, Schroeder, who calls Vladimir Putin his friend, has regularly criticized any moves to impose sanctions on Russia.

I know it’s hard to take an unpopular stand sometimes, especially when it is unethical, mercenary and just plain wrong, but he certainly is consistent here, at least.

“Schröder macht sich zum russischen Söldner.”

PS: Germany is predictably outraged about this (not) (or not particularly). But rest assured that if this had been a US-Amerkan oil company there would have been hell to pay.

I Got Your FIFA For You Right Here

The German government sent a shipment of rocket-propelled grenades to Saudi Arabia in order to secure support for their bid to host the 2006 World Cup, according to the latest sensational claims in the FIFA scandal.

FIFA

German newspaper Die Zeit say the country’s Football Association arranged for then Chancellor Gerhard Schroder’s administration to supply the arms in order to swing the Saudi vote from Morocco to Germany ahead of the vote in 2000.

Die Regierung von Gerhard Schröder beschloss eine Woche vor der WM-Vergabe die Lieferung von Panzerfäusten an Saudi-Arabien. Deutschland habe “kurzfristig das Waffenembargo aufgehoben”, sagte Guido Tognoni, damals Fifa-Mitarbeiter, später.

Where’s Gazprom-Gerd When You Need Him?

Probably taking tea at the “dyed-in-the-wool democrat’s” dacha.

Ukraine

When it comes to Russia’s unsolicited visit to Ukraine, German officials go out of their way to say that gas, money or jobs play absolutely no role in Berlin’s predictably soft-spoken, low-keyed, muffled, namby-pamby, wussy, pantywaisted and yellow bellied response to said unfortunate visit.

So now we all know of course that gas, money and jobs are probably playing the biggest role in Berlin’s said sad response to said event.

“Imposing sanctions on Russia because of Ukraine would put German jobs in danger.”

Gerd Knows Best

Ex-chancellor “Gazprom-Gerd” Schröder just can’t seem to sit still these days and has fired yet another salvo in his one-man undeclared unsolicited advice offensive.

Schroeder

He has now advised current chancellor Angela Merkel to leave office in a timely manner. For her own good, of course. And I, for one, certainly hope that she takes this advice to heart. If anybody out there knows about not having left office in a timely manner it’s this guy. In fact I think he should have left office a few days after having been elected. The first time, I mean. It would have only been for his own good, of course.

Gerhard Schröder—the former German chancellor, a man who said the Soviet Union of Leonid Brezhnev appeared more intent on peace than the Americans, and who since 2006 has been a Gazprom executive and Vladimir Putin’s chief shill among the countries of the European Union—has come up with a prescription for masking Moscow’s refusal to let Ukraine (or anyone else) leave Russia’s control and form an organic relationship with the West.